Little Pockets Of Nom

After

After whipping up all that homemade pumpkin mash for the sweet buns earlier this week, I started looking for ways to use up the litre of excess puree that were a little more out of the ordinary.

Pondering what might be the optimal pumpkin delivery system, I settled on a filling for handmade ravioli that would combine it with creme fraiche, roasted garlic and fresh thyme; all things that I had kicking around in my fridge that also happened to sound vaguely complimentary.  Deciding on a course of action, I prepared the filling and left it to chill in the fridge for a few hours to firm up a bit.

Once I’d whipped the filling into a lather, I dug my hand crank out of a drawer and set to work rolling out gossamer sheets of dough.  Being that I don’t make stuffed pastas too often, my technique is a little less than stellar, yielding ravioli of varying shapes and sizes, but personally I think that makes them look all the more authentically handmade.

Two imperative things to note when making your own ravioli;

1) Resist the urge to over-stuff your ravioli, because it will come back to bite you later

2) Make sure all of your ravioli are well sealed without air pockets before dumping them in boiling water

30 semi-frustrated minutes later, I was finished assembling a motley assortment of pasta pockets and was ready to start dropping them into the vigorously boiling salted water.

Before I even had time to walk away from the dancing pasta, the ravioli began floating to the surface so I heated some butter in a pan until it was nutty and brown and tossed the cooked ravioli until they were completely coated.  A sprinkling of cracked pepper and a drizzle of syrupy aged balsamic was all it took to take the meal from humdrum to fireworks in 2.5 seconds.  Given that I knew the Everyman wasn’t a huge fan of pumpkin (or any gourds) going into this experiment, I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction from him.  Instead, I looked away and looked back a minute or two later and his whole plate was empty.  That would be a fairly honest testimonial to exemplify exactly how scrumptious this pasta really is.

I still have about half a jar of pumpkin puree left in the freezer, but with a dish as delish as this, I may forgo trying to come up with alternatives uses and just make more of this again.  The meatless nature of the filling would also make it a fine spread for a toasted crostini with a little bite of tangy or pungent cheese.

Before

Foodie’s Pumpkin Pasta Filling

2 c. pumpkin puree

2 tbsp creme fraiche

6 cloves roasted garlic

8-10 sprigs of thyme, stripped

salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl or food processor and mix until smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use and pour off any liquid that may have separated from the filling, then depending on the size of your pasta sheets, use 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of filling per piece.  Once your sheet is full, wet the four sides of the pasta around the ravioli filling with a finger, then gently press the top sheet over, using the tips of your fingers to ease the air pockets out from around the filling.  Seal the edges and use a crimping roller to ensure a tight seam.  Let air dry for 10-15 minutes, then boil for 1-2 minutes, or until light and floating.  Serve with the sauce of your choice, balsamic and freshly cracked pepper.

Makes 32-40 2.5 inch ravioli

Until next time…

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