Sunday, November 8, 2009

As Easy as Pumpkin Pie

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am stepping back into the kitchen. Lately, I have been on a hiatus, mostly due to my hectic travel schedule. I’ve been on the “gravy train” crisscrossing back and forth around the country, dining out each night. It’s the rough life, I know. But, now I am fat and lazy, and eager to get back to the front line.

I love preparing a meal from planning the menu to sitting down with the Tea Drinker and enjoying an evening at home. Prepping ingredients tends to put me into a “Zen-like” mode (my husband may disagree with this statement, as he mostly hears swear words coming from the kitchen). This whole process of preparation and anticipating helps keep me sane. Yes, its true, afterwards the kitchen looks as if a raging war went on, but acts of brilliance sometimes are displayed in mysterious ways...

This weekend, I had the urge to make pumpkin ravioli. Well, not really, but I had to figure out what to do with the three pound organic Whole Foods pumpkin that my husband bought for me. Remember last week’s Boot Camp request to bring a pumpkin to class to use as a workout apparatus? Well, I would have been laughed right out of there with that pee-wee of a pumpkin. Nothing left to do, but eat it the darn thing.

I have never really cooked with a pumpkin outside of making a pie, and even then, used canned pumpkin puree. Not this time, we used the real deal. It was like serving Fall on a plate. Very tasty and comforting. Give this recipe a try, before you are sick of looking at all things pumpkin. Invite your friends over, pour them a steaming cup of spicy Drink the Leaf Chai, and toast to the season.

Pumpkin Ravioli served with an Autumn Salad

Simple ingredients:
3-4 pound organic pumpkin
8oz cream cheese , softened
1 tsp of kosher salt
¼ tsp of cinnamon
¼ tsp of nutmeg
1-package of wonton wrappers( square)
That’s it, and make sure you have butter and grated Parmesan on hand, too!

Roll your Sleeves Up:
1)Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds(save for toasting later). Rub each half with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place pumpkin cut side down on a cookie sheet and roast in oven at 350degrees. For about an hour, until tender.
2)Scoop out the baked pumpkin goodies, and whip to a smooth puree. I used a Cuisinart, but it’s not necessary.
3) Fold the soften cream cheese into the pumpkin puree. Add salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.
4)Now the fun part! Place a 1/2tsp of pumpkin filling into the center of the wonton wrapper. Wet the edges with water, and fold in half or into a triangle piece. Press to close, and pinch edges with prongs of a fork. Viola! Ravioli.
5)Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they float. Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon, and set on plate to rest. Drain off any excess water.
6)While the ravioli is resting, heat butter in a pan over medium heat. Cook the butter until it starts to brown, remove from heat. Set aside.
7) Serve Ravioli with browned butter on top, and sprinkled with Parmesan. We like to heat up our serving plates in the microwave, to help keep the ravioli warm.
8) Have leftovers? Share with friends, freeze, or take a deep breath and serve up another plate!

**recipe adapted from Thank you for sharing, Jennifer. Great site.

Enjoy the bounty, working out has never been this good!

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