Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Whiskey and Sage Cream Sauce

Usually this time of year we head to our favorite restaurant, Hazelnut Kitchen, for their sublime butternut squash ravioli…but, you know, the kiddos make it a wee bit harder to just pop out to dinner. My taste buds, however, don’t understand that. They sense fall in the air, and they want creamy/buttery/squashy/sagey. And they want it RIGHT NOW. So that leaves me with one choice: Make the ravioli at home.

But here’s the problem…dough terrifies me. I’ve failed miserably at all previous dough-making attempts. I know every fall magazine/cooking show for the last several years has had a piece on how e-a-s-y it is to make your own squash ravioli, but the thought strikes mortal fear into my heart. And using wonton wrappers? Something about that just seems not right.

So what’s a squash-craving, dough-fearing girl like me to do? Buy frozen butternut squash ravioli and dress it up with an amazing sauce, that’s what. Thank you, Rosetti ravioli for saving me from another dough-FAIL-induced meltdown.

Whiskey and Sage Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons of butter

1 medium onion, finely diced

½ teaspoon dried sage (I wanted to use fresh, but I forgot it and no way was I running back to Wegmans on a Sunday afternoon!)

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup organic half-and-half

1 teaspoon whiskey (I used Maker’s Mark)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons toasted, chopped pecans

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onions, a pinch of s&p, then cover to let onions sweat about 3 minutes. Uncover, reduce heat to medium-low and sautee until onions are lightly caramelized (about 10 minutes).
  2. While onions are caramelizing, add pecans to a skillet over low heat. Toast the nuts until they are browned and fragrant (about 5 minutes…watch them because they will go from perfect to burned very quickly).
  3. Add sage and garlic powder to caramelized onions. Let cook about 2 minutes until spices are incorporated into onion mixture.
  4. Stir in the whisky and half-and-half. Add another pinch of s&p. Bring to a slow simmer, then let cook about 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Add the cooked ravioli to the sauce and toss.
  6. Sprinkle ravioli with toasted pecans (and some parmesan shavings if you’re so inclined…we didn’t think it was needed) to serve.

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