Autumn Squash Ravioli With Sage Brown Butter Sauce
1 medium squash (use butternut, delicata, or kabocha)
1/2 bunch thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped from the pod
36 wonton wrappers
1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 pound roasted chestnuts, peeled and sliced (optional)
For the brown butter sauce:
5 tablespoons butter
15-18 small fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Heat the oven to 375F. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Season with salt and pepper, and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet that's been sprinkled with thyme sprigs and vegetable oil. Bake for about 45 minutes or until squash is completely soft. Set aside and allow to cool.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop the flesh from its skin and place in a large mixing bowl. Discard skin. Season squash with the nutmeg, vanilla bean seeds, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Mash this mixture by hand until it is well blended but still slightly chunky. Put the mixture in a colander set in the sink, and let the excess liquid drain off for about 30 minutes.
Form the ravioli by placing about 2 teaspoons of the squash mixture on a wonton wrapper. Brush the edges with a pastry brush dipped slightly into the beaten egg, and place another wonton wrapper on top. Be sure to remove all air pockets and seal the edges well. Make three ravioli per person. To prevent the ravioli from sticking together, dust them with flour and don't stack them. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the chestnuts and cook until they are crisp and golden. Drain.
To make the sauce, place 5 tablespoons of butter in a medium frying pan and cook until the white milk solids have browned. Add the sage and chicken broth, and bring to a simmer. Reduce until sauce is slightly thickened, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the ravioli and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
To serve, place a few tablespoons of grated cheese onto each dish and top with three ravioli. Spoon the brown butter sauce over the ravioli and garnish with chestnuts.