Now that have I moved into the second trimester of this pregnancy, I can feel my energy creeping back. It feels good--maybe a little too good. Uh oh, do I really have this many things on the go?
As we speed toward the holidays and with the impending baby arriving soon after, it’s as if a fire has been lit under us to get some of the house projects wrapped up—I mean, started--which, as anyone who knows us can testify, means renovations.
So, let’s see. There is wall paper to strip, closets to build, flooring to lay and painting all around. I’ve also taken on a small, weekly catering contract that helps keep me even busier in the kitchen. All this on top of our usual active schedule makes for some long days.
I like to work, I really do, I don’t really know how to not be busy, but when my doctor is telling me I have low blood pressure and to slow down, I realize I have to try and not do quite so much.
That brings us to our recipe for tonight’s dinner. It involves a shortcut. Although I am not one to regularly open a can of soup or bake from a mix, I am not opposed to simplifying recipes or eliminating steps such as this one.
I have used dumpling skins on occasion to make ravioli or tortellini and find that they are a superb alternative to the time-consuming homemade pasta dough. I would love to haul out my pasta machine in the afternoon and spend an hour or so playing with dough, but I don't always have the time or energy. Although the taste of fresh pasta is hard to beat, these dumpling skins at least provide great texture and look pretty good too!
Pumpkin recipes are popping up all over the place and so I'll add my two cents with this ravioli recipe. The squashes are particularly beautiful this fall and if you live anywhere near a market, you should get out and enjoy the colours.
The bitter rapini is a perfect contrast to the rich filling of the ravioli and the pine nuts provide a needed crunch. Of course, no pasta is complete without some shavings of Parmesan!
This is a quick supper to put together. Have your partner toss a salad and let the kids grate the Parmesan. You can fill the ravioli while your water is coming to a boil and before you know it, dinner is on the table.
Pumpkin & Parmesan Ravioli with Rapini, Brown Butter and Pine Nuts
2 cups firm pumpkin puree
½ cup grated parmesan
1 egg yolk
¼ teaspoon white pepper, ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 pkg dumpling skins (available at most Asian grocers)
1 small bunch of rapini
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup butter
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a small pan, melt butter and cook gently until it browns lightly. Set aside.
Trim rapini, removing tough stalks and keeping the heads. Blanch or sauté lightly, season ,and reserve for dish.
Prepare filling by combining pumpkin puree, Parmesan, egg yolk and seasoning. Have a small dish of water on hand. Place about a tablespoon of filling in the center of a dumpling skin. Dip your finger in the dish of water and run your finger around the edge of the skin to moisten. Top with another skin and press firmly around edges. Repeat with remaining filling and dumpling skins.
Drop into rapidly boiling water and boil for two minutes. Drain and toss with brown butter and warm rapini. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with pine nuts and parmesan. Serve at once.
Makes about 24 ravioli.