A Better Butter Sauce

Ravioli Plate

You know how nutritionists say that home cooking is healthier since it allows you to control your portions?

Well, what if you have no self-control, what happens then? I’ll tell you what, you end up making pasta sauces made with butter, parmesan cheese, and more butter. Portion control my ass.

Chef Gansie this past weekend made the long trek across DC to Eastern Market do some ‘research’ (check out her article in the Onion next week!). Over there at the Market, there is a wonderful Italian food and Pasta station with all the varieties you could think of. When I lived over on the Hill I would drool over the 12 kinds of tortellini, admire the colorful ravioli, and then go home and order Al’s Pizza.

But this time, my wish came true as Gansie returned with some Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Ravioli. These fresh-made pasta squares also contained ricotta, romano, sage, nutmeg, and tumeric. Needless to say, these aren’t your mama’s ravioli. But at a cost of 6.75 for six pieces, your mom might have to help pay for them.


So of course my idea for this meal was to add some delicious pre-made red pasta sauce. After she finished rolling her eyes, Gansie informed me that we would not be cheating and using store bought crap. How about a white wine butter sauce instead? I had no idea what that was but it didn’t sound too healthy…I was hooked.

Fresh pasta being fresh, it only takes about 4 minutes of cooking at a simmer before the ravioli begins to float (that means they’re finished). So don’t start cooking the pasta too soon when making this. The sauce took me about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Thyme White Wine Butter Sauce

(note: the portions are for only 6 ravioli, increase as needed)

– 1/4 Cup of white wine

– 1/8 Cup of fresh lemon juice

– 1 Clove of Garlic, minced

– 1 Shallot, minced

– However much butter you feel like

– Fresh Thyme

Salt and Pepper

In a small saucepan, add the white wine, lemon juice, garlic, shallots, thyme, salt and pepper on medium heat and cook until it reduces by about half (honestly no idea, just reduce a decent amount). After that, begin with the butter, adding smallish pieces one at a time. Stir constantly. At this point, you can basically add less butter to make it more liquefied and more healthy or do what I did and start the pasta late, which gave me the time to add 5-6 pieces more of butter. The extra butter gave my butter sauce a creamier, more buttery taste.

Did I mention the butter?

The end result was a rich, slightly tangy sauce that complemented the butternut squash pasta beautifully. Being pasta, Gansie and I covered everything in parmesan cheese. Plus, I got to portion out the butter how I wanted, just like the heath nuts tell me to.

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  • BS December 7, 2007  

    best ES pics yet?

  • gansie December 7, 2007  

    *news flash*
    i’ve decided thyme is my new favorite fresh herb

  • gansie December 7, 2007  

    the butter does glisten beautifully here, doesn’t it?

  • Chuck November 7, 2010  

    I just wanted to thank you for that recipe, we bought a asparagus, pepper and cheese ravioli from Whole Foods and use it on that. It almost felt like I was eating at Carrabbas.

  • gansie November 7, 2010  

    and i will take that as a compliment, chuck. thanks for playing along with the Simmer.

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