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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall Inspiration (Part 1)

Leaves are falling, there's a chill in the air, pumpkins are on doorsteps and in our case, spiders and webs are in trees.  It's one of the most wonderful times of the year...Fall!  The magnificent sights and smells of this season are inspiring me in the kitchen!  Here are a couple recipes I've worked up, to make your thoughts orange and brown and of crisp, lovely air...

Cheese and Herb Ravioli with Pumpkin Sauce
and Garlic Brussels Sprouts
Wonton Wrappers
1 cup Aged White Cheddar Cheese (grated)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese (and extra for topping)
1 cup Cream or Ricotta Cheese
1 tablespoon each chopped Fresh Herbs (I used Rosemary and Thyme)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 package fresh Brussels Sprouts (sliced)
1 clove minced Garlic
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1 jar Tuscan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce (from Target)
1. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil on high heat.  While this is happening, blend the cheeses, herbs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
2.  Spread out a sheet of parchment paper and grab a tiny bowl of water.
3.  Dip your fingers into the water and rub down the edges of a wonton wrapper. Place a small ball of the cheese blend in the center of the wrapper and cover with another wrapper.  Press the sides together until all sides are sealed and no air bubbles remain.
4.  Heat the Olive Oil and Butter over medium heat.  Throw in the minced Garlic and sliced Brussels Sprouts.  Cook until slightly tender and browned and set aside.
5.  Into the pan you cooked the Brussels Sprouts in (to save on dirtying dishes), pour the pasta sauce from the jar.  Allow it to heat up to a slight simmer over medium low heat.  Be careful not to burn it!
6.  While the sauce is heating, add the raviolis into the boiling water (about 6 at a time).  Cook for 5 minutes and remove carefully with a slotted spoon.  Note: As you remove the raviolis and transfer to a plate, make sure to drizzle with a bit of olive oil so they don't stick to each other.
 To serve:  Place 3-4 Raviolis on each plate.  Drizzle the warm Pumpkin Sauce over the top.  Add the seared Brussels Sprouts and top with a bit of Parmesan Cheese.  Enjoy...the food and the season!

Broccoli Basil Flatbread with Pumpkin Sauce
I had a good bit of Pumpkin Sauce left over from the ravioli dish.  I also had some broccoli and naan that I wanted to use.  So, you know me...I'm going to think of a flatbread recipe!
We have had somewhat of a Basil saga at our house.  Basil welfare is a really touchy subject around here. Ha!  We've killed several plants.  Lately though, a few sprouts have beaten the odds and held fast to survival.  So I killed them by adding them to my flatbread! 
Ingredients: (for 1 flatbread)
Leftover Tuscan Pumpkin Sauce
handful of chopped Broccoli
tablespoon of chopped fresh Basil
large handful of Mozzarella Cheese
large handful of Aged White Cheddar (grated)
Naan or Pita Bread
(my favorite naan from Aldi)
Instructions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Top the bread with the ingredients and cook until cheese is melted and starting to brown.  Enjoy!

The ravioli recipe did take a little time to prepare...handmaking raviolis is never the quickest task.  But it would be a fun date-night or kid participation recipe.  The flatbread was super fast and easy!  You could tweak either recipe to better suit your fancy.  I just went with the first thing that popped into my head.  Let me know what flavors you think of!  As always, I'm hoping to inspire and be inspired!  Happy Fall, friends!