Dinners

Pumpkin Ravioli…

I don’t know about all of you, but even after last week’s massive feasting, I’ve got a lot of leftover ingredients. That extra head of garlic, the spices I never use for anything else but traditional, homey Thanksgiving meals, and the random leftover shallots in the crisper drawer. Maybe it’s also the three 20 ounce cans of pumpkin that my mother bought, but I’ve got A LOT of leftover ingredients. (“I didn’t know how much you needed, so I bought more of each to get a deal!”) Even if Thanksgiving is technically over, I’m not ready to give up my favorite part of my family’s Thanksgiving dinner, Pumpkin Ravioli. I honestly couldn’t be happier with all of the extra ingredients, because it means that I eat Pumpkin Ravioli whenever I want!

This is a recipe that my cousin, Katie, incorporated into our Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago. We were all a bit skeptical at first, but now we all fight over who gets to eat the most of it. I’ll confess something, I hate pumpkin. I really do. I think it’s mealy  and gross and the flavor makes me gag a little. Yet, I love this pasta dish. If that isn’t enough to show that this is an incredible food, I don’t know what is. Ask anyone who has spoken to me, I am more stubborn than a mule.

Before you do anything, spray the nonstick cooking pan with cooking spray! That may seem simple enough, but without the cooking spray on the nonstick pan, the sauce will not have the same consistency. Every once in a while, we forget this step and the sauce comes out completely differently. It becomes too thick and chunky. It is still always delicious, albeit a little chunky. After the nonstick pan has been sprayed with cooking spray, I cooked chopped garlic, sliced green onions and fennel seeds until the onions were tender, about three minutes.

In a separate bowl, I whisked evaporated skim milk, flour, salt and pepper together.

I poured the mixture into the saucepan and stirred it all around. I brought it to a boil over a high heat while stirring constantly. Here’s where the cooking spray step becomes so important. While the sauce is boiling to thicken, if the pan doesn’t have the cooking spray the sauce will burn to the bottom of the pan and you’ll have to scrape it off as you stir. That’s how it also ends up a little chunky. It’s fine and just as delicious, it’s not just as incredible as it could be.

 

After the sauce had boiled for fine minutes and thickened, I added 1/3 cup packed pumpkin and mixed it in. The recipe says 1/2 cup, but my family prefers it with 1/3 cup. If you really love pumpkin, go for the 1/2 cup.

I reduced the heat to low and left it alone while I cooked the ravioli. This recipe calls for store-bought cheese ravioli to be cooked by its own directions. I dream of the day when I can make my ravioli for this recipe…

Once the ravioli was cooked, I strained them and poured them into the saucepan to be coated in the sauce.

Then, I served myself some of this ravioli and topped it off with Parmesan cheese. Like I said before, I do not like pumpkin. But, this delicious dish makes me forget that there’s even pumpkin in it. The garlic, shallots and fennel seed all stand out. This meal has some low, mellow tones that are lightened by the creamy cheese inside the ravioli. I hope that it makes its way onto your table as part of the Thanksgiving feast, or at least a great meal to make with leftover Thanksgiving ingredients!

Recipe for Pumpkin Ravioli

Nonstick cooking spray
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 (or 1/2, your preference) cup solid pack pumpkin
2 packages (9 ounces each) low-fat cheese ravioli
Parmesan cheese

Spray medium nonstick saucepan with cooking spray. Add onions, garlic and fennel seeds and cook over medium heat until onions are tender, about 3 minutes.

Whisk milk, flour, salt and pepper together in a separate bowl until smooth and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Add pumpkin and mix it in. Reduce the heat to low.

Cook ravioli to packaged directions. Drain and dress in pumpkin sauce. Enjoy!

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