Swap The Main Ingredient In Butternut Squash Ravioli With A Sweeter Variety

Ravioli is our favorite stuffed pasta, offering a tasty fusion of flavors in every bite. The combination of delectable fillings and savory sauces is even better when you make your own, tailoring the components to your exact preference. If you're new to ravioli-making, the classic butternut squash filling, with its minimal ingredients, is an excellent starting point. For an updated twist, kabocha squash makes a great substitute for butternut squash, bringing a natural sweetness to the pillowy pasta.

Kabocha, a member of the extended pumpkin family, shares a familiar flavor with its squash counterparts. This versatile vegetable also steps in as an excellent substitute for pumpkin in pies and soups. What makes it even more enticing is that you can enjoy its edible skin, especially when it's been lightly steamed. Kabocha squash also boasts impressive nutrition, providing ample fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It's rich in beta-carotene, which supports eye health, and low in calories, according to VeryWellFit.com.

Cooking kabocha

If you haven't yet cooked with kabocha squash, you're in for a pleasant surprise. The pumpkin-shaped squash has a deep orange interior and dusky green skin. It's easy to cut into wedges for roasting, and the cooked flesh can simply be scooped out to puree for ravioli filling – no complicated peeling and dicing is needed. Kabocha squash is low in moisture, too, so the filling won't be watery or too thin. The flavor profile is similar, so you can use kabocha in most recipes that call for butternut squash.

To prepare kabocha squash for ravioli filling, carefully cut the kabocha into quarters and place it uncovered on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 Fahrenheit until a knife slips easily into the flesh. When the squash cools, simply spoon it out into a mixing bowl and mash it with a fork. The kabocha filling might just be your favorite ravioli of all!