My original plan for Halloween dinner was to try a recipe for sweet potato gnocchi from the penultimate issue of Gourmet (sigh), but the little sugar pie pumpkin that I bought at Gordon’s was looking at me reproachfully. Right. I put off the gnocchi in favor of a sort-of repeat of last year’s pumpkin ravioli. Why did I think it would be less painful this time?
As you may recall, last year’s ravioli was from Mario Batali’s Babbo Cookbook. This time I went back to an old favorite, Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s bible of Emilia-Romagna food, The Splendid Table. Her recipe for squash-filled pasta is one that I’ve made before, and it has a particularly nice flavor. You make it by roasting a small halved and cleaned pumpkin (or butternut squash) and a whole sweet potato, then pureeing their flesh with a hint of nutmeg and grated Parmesan. It’s delicious all by itself, and wonderful with pasta and sage butter.
I won’t go into the details of making ravioli, particularly when it involves insufficient counter space and a sad lack of patience on the cook’s part (I did a step-by-step post last year, anyway). Suffice it to say I did not quite crawl weeping into the bathroom in the middle of the process. And we did end up with a dinner’s worth of sweet ravioli drenched in melted butter and fresh sage, as well as half a pound of homemade fettucine hung to dry for the next day.
Which, by the way, made an excellent lunch tossed with the leftover squash filling and some sliced Italian sausage. Delicious, and much easier on the nerves than filled pasta.
Despite the difficulties, it was a good Halloween.