Apparently, four days is my limit before I need to discuss pumpkin, squash, and all other fall foods with you. I tried to be patient and ignore the fact that I have pumpkin ravioli sitting in my freezer just waiting for their dinner debut but I succumbed to them (let's just say it didn't require much). I have been thinking a lot about the sauce I wanted to pair them with, and inspiration struck while up in the Catskills perusing the menu at Cucina. (Which is so good I would suggest driving up there solely to eat at the restaurant and then you can stand outside, admire how beautiful it is with its soft colors and loads of candles and exposed wood, and imagine your rustic fall wedding there. Not that I did any of this. Oh! And if you need a place to stay while in the Catskills I recommend the Roxbury Motel because it's so quirky and amazing.) I knew a simple butter sauce would be ideal but it only occurred to me after analyzing the menu that a brown butter sauce would be even better. Let me tell you brown butter is better; it's nutty and fragrant, the fall version of plain butter and atop pumpkin ravioli it’s kind of perfect.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter and Sage
I made this with pumpkin ravioli but this would be just as delicious with plan ravioli or with pumpkin tortellini or sweet potato gnocchi. Really the possibilities are limitless.
Serves 2, generously (actually in serves almost 3)
1 pound pumpkin ravioli
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 - 8 sage leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper (a lot of pepper) to taste
1/3 cup parmesan/pecorino plus more for dusting
Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Pour salt in the water when the water as come to boil and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta as per the package (generally for ravioli you cook until they begin to float). When the pasta is cooked, set aside 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed skillet, turn the heat to medium and place the butter in the pan. When the butter is melted, add the sage leaves and cook until crispy, about 1 minute. Remove the sage leaves from the pan and set aside on a plate. Continue to cook the butter until it begins to smell nutty and turns brown. Watch it carefully as it can burn quickly! Should take about 2 to 3 minutes. When the butter is browned, add in the balsamic vinegar and stir, then add in ¼ cup of the pasta water. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. If you find it too thick, add more water. (I found a little more then ¼ cup of water was ideal.) Add pasta to the skillet and toss to coat with the sauce. Add ½ cup cheese and toss to coat. Place ravioli on the plate and garnish with sage leaves, a dusting of cheese and a little more black pepper.