For me, Meatless Monday is a way to stretch my culinary muscles. Think outside the carnivore box. Mix it up a bit.
And, after many weeks of attempting such challenge, I can safely say this: Easier said than done.
Problem # 1: I like my swimmers. I definitely like my flyers. And I loooooove my grazers. To eat an entire meal with nothing but growers leaves me a bit… unfulfilled. I know, it’s psychological. But, still.
Problem # 2: Maybe this is just a pet peeve of mine, or I don’t understand how “Meatless Monday” (MM) works, but I thought the point was to highlight plant-based meals. So why are my MM searches jammed with items such as MM apple fritters, MM pear muffins, or (slightly better), MM curry cauliflower?!?!?! For reals, folks?! Should I go ahead and re-tag all of my cookies, tarts, pot au cremes, and scones as “Meatless Monday-friendly?!”
But because so many others are doing it, I’ve found it nearly impossible to find something I can actually serve my husband for dinner without getting laughed at.
This week, I had more immediate matters to tend to. The basket of remaining quail eggs that had been sitting on my kitchen counter for the last couple of weeks needed to be used up, quick. When I realized I had about a dozen left, it took me a minute or two to realize I could throw them all into a batch of pasta dough. While the dough rested, I roasted a butternut squash that had been lying on the counter, and then I wandered into the garden to verify that still had some sage leaves. About an hour later, dinner was ready.
There is no exact recipe today, as there are already about 1,000 different “butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and sage” recipes floating on the internet. But I did refer to this one as a guide for my filling.
The following are notes so I can do this again if I want to.
The dough: Don’t forget the salt. Definitely use the 00 flour. Also, it doesn’t matter what kind of egg you use. Chicken egg is what I use 99% of the time.
The filling: 2 pounds of roasted butternut squash, 1 sauteed diced shallot, ¼ cup heavy cream, 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, kosher salt, and pepper. Notes: the filling was a bit runny, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it thin enough to puree in the Vitamix without giving it some liquid/cream. It was good, but I need to figure out how to make the filling thicker next time.
The ravioli: The raviolis went into a pot of boiling water, 2-3 at a time, for only about 1 minute for each batch, and then they were delicately removed with a wide-set spatula to dry on a paper towel (to get rid of the excess water) before being set on a dinner plate.
The fried sage leaves: Sage leaves were cooked in a pan with about ¼ cup of salted European butter. As soon as the leaves were dark green, they were fished out of the pan to dry on a paper towel. Once the butter turned a golden brown color, the heat was turned off.
The assembly: I used a brush to “paint” the clarified/brown butter onto each ravioli, then dusted the tops with the fried sage leaves (whole and broken), and some Parmesan cheese.
Lastly, if you have any MM suggestions you think I’d like, please… help!! I could use a suggestion, or two.
Thanks in advance!
P.S. The husband thought it was a decent Meatless Monday dinner. Win.