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open mind, empty stomach

travel, food, and fun

It looks like I won’t be doing any traveling until my financial situation drastically improves. In the meantime this blog will be based on things I do at home in Hawaii. One of those things is cooking and I’m going to start sharing what I make and how I make it. I apologize for the lack of pictures and will try to start taking some action shots in the future.

Last Saturday I picked up 1/2 a kabocha pumpkin from my favorite vendor at the farmers market, Pit Farm. I’ve made kabocha ravioli in the past and decided to do something other than tossing it in a brown butter sage sauce this time. One of my pantry items at home is Kukui Italian Sausage. While I would prefer to make my own, Kukui is locally made and good enough for me. I use it a lot for all kinds of different stuff and it’s handy to have on hand. I thought that adding sausage to the filling would compliment the pumpkin well.
While at the farmers market, I also picked up some purslane from Otsuji Farm, without knowing what I would do with it. My only encounters with purslane have come in salad form and I decided to see how it would work in a pesto. When I went to Whole Foods to pick up pine nuts, they were sampling a deliciously creamy goat cheese, le picandou, that found its way into the pesto. Meyer lemons are currently going off on Oahu and my roommate obtained a big bag of them from a friend’s tree.
Needless to say, I got my hands on some pretty great ingredients. My only goal was not to mess them up!

Ravioli dough:
00 Flour (around 3 cups)
3 Eggs (local of course)
Kabocha (about 1/2 cup roasted and mashed)
salt (pinch)
extra virgin olive oil (little splash)

For the dough, I mix everything in my Kitchenaid stand mixer. I add more flour or olive oil depending on the consistency of the dough until it is no longer sticky, but not quite falling apart into a bunch of small pieces. Once the desired consistency is reached, I let the machine work the dough for about 10 minutes, wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for about an hour. I incorporated a little kabocha to get some extra pumpkin-ness and brighten the color of the pasta.

Ravioli filling:
Kabocha (1/2 of a kabocha, but didn’t use all)
Sausage (8oz Kukui Italian Sausage)
Sage (a dozen or so leaves from my garden, finely chopped)
Nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

I covered the squash in olive oil, sprinkled some salt and pepper, and grated fresh nutmeg, then roasted for about 40 minutes at 325. I removed the casings from the sausages and, since they are pre-cooked, diced them up before browning. I browned the sausage in olive oil and added the sage just before they were done. I combined the squash and sausage/sage mixture in a food processor with a little more freshly grated nutmeg and the filling was ready.

Pesto:
Purslane (a few cups maybe? washed and thick stems removed)
Meyer Lemon (juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon)
Goat Cheese (a couple ounces of le picandou)
Pine Nuts (1/3 of a cup-ish, toasted)
Garlic (2-3 cloves)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pesto is really easy. I drop the first 5 ingredients into the food processor, then gradually add olive oil until it reaches my desired consistency.

The outcome: It came out really well. The flavors were great and complimented one another nicely. My dining companion has lactose issues, so I took it easy on her and didn’t add any cheese to the filling. As a result, the ravioli filling was a little dry. If I make it again, I will put some of the goat cheese in the filling. The meyer lemon was REALLY juicy and I could have used a little less juice than I did. It was a little tart, but nothing overboard and it lightened up the pesto in a nice way. Overall, I was very happy with the dish and would make it again.

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