Once, at an Italian restaurant in Boston, my old roommate ordered this great-sounding dish called Ravioli Nudo, which the waiter described as ravioli filling unstuffed from its ravioli. Even though it was listed in the Pasta section of the menu, it turned out to contain no carbs, just lumps of ricotta filling, and though this tasted delicious, it was still disappointing to be served a pasta plate that lacked pasta.
It’s sort of random then that’s what I think of when I fill my bowl with this satisfying, easy, and hearty pasta dish, because this dish relies on copious servings of whole wheat fusilli or fresh fettucine as a resting spot for this ravioli filling-like sauce. The sauce is creamy, made from delicata (or any winter) squash and spiced with pepper and nutmeg. Despite its inspiration from the interior of a squash ravioli, there has ceased to be anything “nudo” about it; trust me, you’ll get your fill of pasta.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Inside-Out Squash Ravioli Pasta
1 18-0z winter squash
2 teaspoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons cream
5-6 ounces pasta
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
Freshly ground pepper
Bring about an inch of water to the boil in a large stockpot. Cut the squash into large wedges and remove the seeds. Arrange in a steamer basket. Steam for 8-12 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove the steamer basket and let the squash cool so you can handle it. Remove the flesh from the skin into a small bowl, then mash it well with a spoon.
Meanwhile, fill up the pot with water for pasta and start it boiling.
In a medium frying pan, melt the butter over very low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 8 minutes. (Don’t raise the heat and try to rush this.) Add the cayenne, nutmeg, and salt.
Now, add the milk, cream, and mashed squash to the pan, stirring to smooth. Raise the heat slightly, bring to the simmer. Simmer over medium heat until reduced, about 7 minutes. When you reach this point, you can add your pasta to the boiling water, so it’ll be ready at the same time as the sauce.
When the sauce is reduced and the pasta done, reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water, and drain the pasta. Add it to the simmering sauce, spooning in reserved water if necessary. Season with pepper and more salt to taste, then divide between two bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve.