12/16/2010

Sexy Pumpkin Moons with Brie and Marjoram

 It happens a lot. I'll read something online, somewhere out in the blogosphere, and go merrily on my way.  Then, later (could be the very same day) I'll wonder where did I just read that bit?  Who said it?  And, in reference to what?  Which is how it happened that I "read somewhere," that "someone said," that marjoram is the sexy herb.  Yes indeed, and it made me think.  I don't have any of that herb.  Never use it.  Could it change my life?  I looked marjoram up in my Rodale's Herbs, and discovered that it was popular at Greek weddings, being as how it was precious to Aphrodite, the goddess of love.  You see, right there the root of the rumor.
How sexy is that marjoram?
I seem to have been in an herbal rut.  Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.  Okay, a few Asian ones thrown in.  And, Oregano, dill, chives, and basil.  But, you know what I mean.  I don't ever use tarragon either.  So, after a trip to the Nursery where I picked up some lonely looking pots of marjoram and tarragon, we are set to begin broadening our herbal horizons around here. New relationships loom.  I'm sure there are a lot more I would take in, if they could only be found in this remote region of the galaxy.

Pumpkin and Feta Lune (moons) or Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce was what I had in mind.  Though, we've all been seeing takes on that combo just about everywhere lately.  Pumpkins are ubiquitous at this time of year, so it's not surprising. You buy a pumpkin, and voila, next day left-over pumpkin.  We're just going with the flow.  My love theme take used marjoram instead of the more traditional sage, and a good splash of Amaretto di Santo in the butter, in place of Mario's crumbled Amaretti cookies (I'm working my way through the Babbo Cookbook).  Besides, it says right on the bottle that Amaretto is known as the drink of love. 

 Pumpkin Lune with Butter and Marjoram
  Loosely adapted from Mario Batali's Babbo Cookbook recipe

For 2 generous servings
 Filling
1 cup cooked, preferably roasted, pumpkin, cooled
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup grated ricotta salata, parmigiano Reggiano (plus extra for serving), Brie or a combination (I used some very ripe Brie with the ricotta)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 beaten egg white
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 pasta dough or won ton wraps - enough for about 10-12 lune - depending upon size
1 egg white, beaten
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, unsalted
1/4 cup Amaretto 
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves, chopped roughly
2 tablespoons crispy breadcrumbs

In a bowl, mash the pumpkin and add in remaining filling ingredients.  Sorting through my cheeses in the fridge, I discovered a bit of Brie, hiding in the back, looking very neglected, and thought it would blend nicely with the pumpkin.  Mix well and set aside.

Cut pasta with a 2 -3 inch biscuit or cookie cutter (or a water glass) on a surface lightly dusted with flour.  Mario used 2 inch circles, but I made them bigger.  My cookie cutter is 7 cm or 2 3/4 inches. Pipe or carefully spoon a rounded tablespoon of filling onto the center of half of the rounds.  Brush some egg white around the edges, and cover the filling with a second pasta round.  Press the edges together firmly to seal.


Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.  Drop the lune in the boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes.  When they stay floating on top.  While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a saute pan until it foams and subsides, then let it begin to brown.  Add in the Amaretto and a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water.  Whisk to emulsify.  Drain the pasta and add  to the butter sauce.  Sprinkle in the marjoram leaves and toss together gently for a minute or so over medium heat to coat the pasta with sauce.

Plate and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated Parmigiano.  I especially loved the way that super ripe brie came zinging through with the pumpkin. Odd bits of cheese can find a new home in ravioli. I served my very excellent, and sexy lune, with  an amazing salad of toasted walnuts, sliced pears and Red Butter lettuce.  This goes over to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Kirsten of From Kirsten's Kitchen to Yours.  Be sure to visit and browse some wonderful recipes after Friday when the round-up should appear.  Also will be linking to My Meatless Mondays, hosted by Chaya.

7 comments:

Emily Z said...

This does sound pretty much perfect, and I would LOVE to try these out. I am so bookmarking this.

Ben said...

Hmm yummy! Another recipe for my pumpkin collection. This looks really good.

Priya Sreeram said...

really loved the wonderful way of explaining recipes ! this one is bookmarked !

Ruth Daniels said...

What a totally glorious dish to end the year. Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Looking forward to lots more in 2011.

Happy Holidays!

Dan said...

You said the magic word - cheese. Looks excellent!

Joanne said...

I made these for the last Cook the Books and I have to say. Amazing. I love that you used brie...I'll definitely be trying that next time!

The Food Hunter said...

What a wonderful recipe.