Hey everyone! I've had a bunch of great recipes and photos tucked away for a little while, just waiting to get posted! So here some finally are. These ones come from Saturday night, when I got together with some old friends, Lauren and Lindsay, and we cooked up a completely home-made and decadent meal while sipping on some red wine and catching up (and laughing harder than I have in a long, long time). It was so fun! I love cooking with friends.
Lauren came up with some great recipes for us to try: Pomegranate Glazed Pork Tenderloin and homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli!
We started off making dinner by throwing together some fresh pasta dough to roll through our old pasta roller which I had lugged over to Lauren's house (it's so legit that everything is even written in Italian)!
Fresh Pasta Dough
2 cups flour
2 large eggs
On a clean table top, or in a bowl, mix together the eggs and flour until a nice bread-consistency dough forms.
You may need to add more of either ingredient to make your dough kneadable.
Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
After we had a nice pasta dough ready to be rolled out, we needed to start cooking our squash for the filling of the ravioli. When we went to the grocery store they unfortunately didn't have any butternut squash so we opted for acorn squash...but I think the recipe would have been much better with the butternut, so definitely use that over acorn if you can! We used 2 acorn squash for the recipe, but one would have done! One butternut squash would be a perfect amount.
Cooking Your Squash
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut your squash in half, and using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds.
Place your squash cut side down onto a cookie sheet, and fill the bottom of the cookie sheet with 1/4 inch of water.
Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until tender.
Once the squash came out of the oven, we started on the pork tenderloin! This recipe was so easy, and really delicious, it was definitely the winning recipe of the night!
Pomegranate Glazed Pork Tenderloin
approx. 1 pound pork tenderloin
3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/4 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a saucepan combine 1/4 cup of the pomegranate juice with half of the sugar and cook until reduced to about half.
Pour over the pork and season with a pinch of salt and a bit of freshly ground pepper.
Pop in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, turning the tenderloin half way through.
While the pork is in the oven, combine the remaining pomegranate juice and sugar, and reduce it in the same sauce pan, making sure to reduce it until thick and sticky (watch it closely as it could burn very quickly)!
When the pork is a nice medium done, pull from the oven and drizzle with the extra pomegranate reduction!
This pork was actually incredible! It turned out so juicy and tender, and really flavorful! I will definitely be making this again.
While Lauren was working away on the pork, I was working on the filling for the ravioli, and Lindsay had stolen the camera for the night...and was working on things like this...
Anyways, the squash had come out of the oven and were cooling off to be mixed into a delectable filling for ravioli, the pork tenderloin was waiting to be cooked up, and it was finally time to run the pasta dough through the roller! This was quite an ordeal, but fun!
We rolled out enough fresh pasta to feed an army... And if you don't have a pasta roller you could always just roll out your dough with a rolling pin! With the gigantic sheets of pasta waiting to be cut into adorable little ravioli, it was time to make the filling and pop the pork into the oven.
Squash Filling for Ravioli
1-2 cooked butternut (or acorn) squash, seeded and skin removed
3-4 tablespoons goat cheese
1/2 a medium sized onion, chopped finely
a handful of fresh sage, chopped finely
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter
salt and pepper
Mash your squash in a bowl and add the goat cheese.
Finely chop your onion and sage, and melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook until tender, then throw in the sage and continue to cook for about a minute.
Add the butter mix to the bowl with the squash and season with salt a pepper.
To cut the ravioli I just used a plain old round cookie cutter to create an army of little ravioli ready to be plopped into boiling hot water!
I had a cup of water beside me while making the ravioli and sealed these beauties up with a little water run around the edges of both sides of the pasta, simple as that.
When you're finished making your ravioli, boil and salt a large pot of water and toss them in! Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried pasta, so your babies are done almost as soon as they float to the top of the pot.
To top off our beautiful ravioli, we made a simple hazelnut butter. To do this all we did was chop up some hazelnuts and toss them into golden, melted butter!
I also topped off the pasta with a bit more goat cheese...I am a goat cheese addict.
Here are our plates of pretty pasta!
The pork was done at the perfect time, and came out gorgeous!
Dinner turned out so great and was so fun to make with the girls. Nothing beats home-made pasta. It's so simple, and makes such a difference to your dishes! I hope this inspires you to get together with some old friends and try something new!