This recipe is definitely stemmed from fall flavors. I wanted to take a twist of a classic pasta with pumpkin or squash and brown butter. But with this recipe I used agar agar to make my "pasta". Agar Agar is a substance derived from red algae and used as a thickener. Asia has been using this ingredient for hundreds of years. The wonderful thing about Agar agar is that it can change a liquid into a solid but also be heated and pliable. When you heat gelatin, it melts so it is a wonderful ingredient if you want to play with textures and serve them warm. This kind of cooking I think is what keeps a lot of chef's out there excited and to keep pushing new flavors and combinations. I had some cranberries and wanted to do something I have never tried or had before; so I thought I would grill them with a little smoke from wood chips. I also wanted to use every part of the squash so I used it for 3 different applications in the dish.
Butternut squash juice 409 g
Agar 11g ( could use 10g or even 9g)
1 tsp sugar
250 g butternut diced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot sliced
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper
3 oz mascarpone
1 oz shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup squash seeds roasted
1 1/2 cup of grilled cranberries add 1 tbsp of sugar after they are grilled
1/2 stick butter ( for brown butter)
1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
1 garlic love minced
Micro basil leaves
Shaved manchego cheese
Fleur de sel
Makes 14 raviolis
3/4 scraps of the butternut squash
1/3 cup of water
Take cranberries toss with a tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Grill them for 2 to 3 minutes to char and soften them a bit. Once they are grilled add a tbsp of sugar to them to help macerate them and sweeten them up a little.
Take the seeds from the butternut and clean them well. Then roast them in an oven at 375 with a pinch of salt. Roast for about 20 minutes until nice and toasted. Reserve for later
For the "Ravioli"
Mix squash juice, salt, and agar together. Bring to a boil stirring constantly, and cook for about 4 minutes. Season with salt and sugar. Pour on sheet pan in very thin layer and chill completely. This will leave you a firm sheet of butternut squash which is thickened by the agar agar and the starch from the squash.
For the filling, in a medium saute pan on medium high heat add butter, oil, and shallot. Sauté for a few minutes then add squash, pinch of salt, and masala. Add water, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until done. Try to evaporate all the liquid. Once the liquid is completely gone cool to room temperature. Then place into a food processor and purée with mascarpone and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate to help set the mix. The mix will be a little firm from the cheese as it cools.
Take the sheet pan of butternut squash gel (agar agar) and take a ravioli cutter and make ravioli shapes. Then take the filling and place a little dollop of mixture into the middle of the "ravioli". Place another layer on top to finish the "ravioli". If you taste it right now it won't be something that great but just wait until you heat it up.
Take scraps and combine with water and puree in vitamix to make a gel. Season and place into a squirt bottle until ready to plate.
To serve, bake the "raviolis" in 350 oven for 2 to 3 minutes. You can torch tops with hand blow torch to help with the top layer warming through. You want to warm this through with out completely melting the ravioli. The result you are looking to achieve is warm all the way through and you want to get the "ravioli" right at the point where it still holds the shape but when you put it into your mouth it will have little texture and will literally melt in your mouth. What you are left with is the pure butternut squash flavor (starch). It truly is melt in your mouth. There is an extremely fine line between overheated, under-heated, and perfect so you might have to play with a little of the scrapes to see what I mean.
Take a really hot saute pan and add butter to make the Brown butter. Watch the butter turn light brown but not burnt. You might have to remove the pan away from the heat. In the last minute add the garlic, cranberries, and season with salt and pepper
To Plate add three raviolis with 3 squirts of squash gel next to it.
Add Brown butter around and on top. Place the
cranberries on gel with micro basil leaves
. Add Fleur de sel on top of raviolis
along with Shaved manchego
, seasoned bread crumbs,
snipped chives and black pepper
Serve immediately and be amazed at the textures and flavors!