Butternut Squash Ravioli with sage butter

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Toasted Pine Nuts and Sage Butter

Steamed Asparagus in sage butter

For the asparagus, I basically drizzled leftover butter sauce over them.  I would make the sauce just to add to the asparagus it was soooooo good. (brown butter, add toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, and sage. Voila!)

Carmelized Baby Bananas with Almond Brittle and Vanilla Ice Cream

Again a winner for dinner!  A definite "Do Again" dinner from the cooking critics in my house.  The sounds in my house went like this... 

"Mom! the smells are overpoweringly delicious, WHEN is dinner?"  

and like this... 

"Please, Mom, take the pictures quickly because it smells and looks so good!"

It really is satisfying not only to have fun in the kitchen 
but to be able to please your brood too.  Again, these recipes come from the cooking show "Take Home Chef" hosted by Curtis Stone.

It isn't on T.V. anymore but I download episodes instantly on Netflix.

If you would like to try these 2 main courses, here are the recipes:

Ravioli stuffed with Butternut Squash and Roasted Pine Nut, Brown Butter Sauce

(I went to Whole Foods Market and purchased the lasagne noodles and made them into the ravioli)

1 1/4 cups/300 g Pumpkin Puree (I substituted Butternut Squash instead)  I steamed it on the stovetop and mashed it.
2 teaspoons/10 ml olive oil
1 cup/120 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon/less than 2 g finely chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup/113 g) salted butter
25 sage leaves
1/4 cup/60 ml fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup/100 g pinenuts, toasted
1 1/2 ounces/45 g shaved Parmesan cheese
  1. In a heavy-based small saucepan, cook the pumpkin puree over a medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until some of the moisture has evaporated and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn't stick to the pan. Let cool completely.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium to high heat. Add the diced pumpkin and sauté for about 10 minutes or until it is tender and golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Stir the pumpkin puree, diced pumpkin, grated Parmesan cheese and tarragon in a bowl to combine. Season the pumpkin mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  1. Place 1 pasta square or round on the work surface. Place 1 tablespoon/20 g of the pumpkin mixture in the center of the pasta square or round. Brush water over the pasta dough that surrounds the filling. Top with another pasta square or round.
  2. Press the edges together to seal. Repeat with the remaining pasta squares or rounds and pumpkin filling, forming 20 ravioli total. Trim the ravioli squares, if necessary. Transfer the ravioli to a floured baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  3. Alternatively, purchased fresh pasta sheets can be used in place of the fresh pasta sheets made here. If using purchased pasta sheets, select both the plain pasta sheets and spinach pasta sheets for a pretty presentation.
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the filling is heated through.
  2. Meanwhile, place a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butter and cook for about 4 minutes or until the butter melts and becomes a light brown color.
  3. Once this begins to happen, add the sage leaves and lemon juice and simmer for 2 minutes or until the sage is crisp. Remove from the heat. Stir in the nuts. Drain the raviolis from the water and place five ravioli on each plate.
  4. Spoon the brown butter mixture over and around the raviolis. Garnish with the shaved Parmesan cheese and serve.

Carmelized Baby Bananas with Almond Brittle (and vanilla ice cream added)

2 cups/400 g granulated sugar
2 cups/225g whole almonds (roasted)
6 baby bananas, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup/50 g golden brown sugar
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the granulated sugar in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook until the sugar dissolves and turns light golden brown.  Add the almonds and stir to coat in the melted sugar.
  2. Pour the almond mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it in an even layer.  Allow the brittle to cool, then break it up into pieces.  Place the brown sugar on a plate.  
  3. Using a small sharp knife, score the flesh side of the bananas.  Press the bananas flesh side down in the brown sugar to coat thickly.  Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Place the bananas, sugared side down, in the pan and cook for 2 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized.  Transfer the caramelized bananas to plates and serve with the almond brittle.

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