The past few years have been hit and miss for me with honey mushrooms. Its all about timing, and these guys quickly bolt and get past their prime. If you get lucky though, you can find staggeringly large fruitings.
I didn’t come across tons this year, but I did get a few clusters of honeys that were perfect. The bulk of them went into duxelles for pierogi filling, but I did eat a couple fresh.
Excluding candy caps, honey mushrooms have the most noticeably sweet taste I’ve had, here they’re paired with some fall squash ravioli, a little brown butter and spinach. It’s easy, hyper-seasonal, and if you don’t feel like making your own ravioli there are plenty of decent frozen brands available at nice grocers.
Heirloom Squash Ravioli With Honey Mushrooms, Brown Butter and Sage
One of the other reasons I made this was to highlight the fantastic heirloom squash we have in Minnesota. I used a variety of butternut squash here called a pumpkin butternut, like the name implies, it taste a bit like pumpkin. The pumpkin butternut is very good, but your favorite squash will work just fine to make a ravioli filling too.
Yields about 24 ravioli, enough to serve 4 people as a light entree
For the rye pasta dough
- 1 cup wild rice flour
- 1 cup ap flour
- 1 large egg plus one yolk
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons cold water
For the squash filling
- 1.5 lbs heirloom butternut squash
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ of a whole nutmeg, grated
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 tablespoon flavorless oil
- Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste
For the sauce and finishing the dish
- 1 lb small, young honey mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed to a length of 1-2 inches.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 chilled, diced tablespoons for finishing the sauce
- 1/8 cup sliced fresh sage
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock, plus more if needed to thin the sauce
- 4 ounces fresh young spinach, cleaned, blanched, and shocked in an ice bath
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350. For the pasta dough, mix the flours, and salt with eggs, yolks, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer until the mixture comes together in a smooth dough, and springs back when pressed. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for 20 minutes until needed.
- Meanwhile, season the squash with oil, salt, pepper and thyme, then cook, covered in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Transfer the squash to the bowl of a food processor and blend until very smooth, then remove to a bowl, allow to cool and add the cheese, ginger and nutmeg.
- Roll out the pasta to the thinnest setting on a pasta machine, then use the rim of a glass to cut out circles of dough. Make ravioli by wiping the bottom cirlce of dough with beaten egg, then filling with a heaping teaspoon of the filling, topping with another circle of dough, and pressing gently to remove air pockets and seal the edges. Dust the ravioli with semolina flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking, then refrigerate or freeze until needed.
- To serve the dish, boil some lightly salted water for the ravioli and cook them until just al dente. Meanwhile, heat the 4 tablespoons of butter in a non-reactive saute pan until browned and aromatic, add the mushrooms and sage and cook until the mushrooms are completely cooked, about 5 minutes. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper, then deglaze with the wine and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half again, then add the spinach, finally finish by stirring in the remaining cold diced butter to make a creamy sauce. Add the ravioli and toss to coat, double check the seasoning and adjust if needed, then divide the ravioli evenly between 4 heated dinner plates and serve immediately topped with a little extra grated parmesan if desired.