Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

And once again, Halloween is gone, and with that enters the holiday season.  As fast as the store shelves are emptied and re-stocked with Christmas decor and adornments, in blows the cooler air, mittens and scarves and all that embodies the holiday season.

However, having said that, I am not too quick to part ways with some autumnal tradition, and most of all, autumnal recipes!IMG_6386

I had a butternut squash sitting alone in my refrigerator, begging me to make something wonderful of it.  And how could I not? I began my search for butternut squash recipes on the internet, but I needn’t look any further than this recipe by none other than Giada de Laurentiis, one of my personal culinary gurus.

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The idea of having the effect of freshly made pasta, without having to actually MAKE it, appealed to me greatly.  To be honest, the thought had never even occurred to me to use wonton wrappers as tortellini pouches!   It’s rather genius.  Here I am, a mother of two small children;  I would rarely have the time, or space for that matter, to make fresh pasta from scratch. I love the idea of it, especially having lived in Italy for so long, but let’s be real here. I live in a small apartment in the city, with my itty bitty little kitchen, and two little children who climb all over me as I am cooking; making fresh pasta will just have to wait a few more years.

The recipe is quite simple, but makes quite an impression.  With those toasted walnuts, the dried cranberries and fresh sage, it is a supreme combination that is sure to both please the eye and the belly.

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Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

1 hr 10 min

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Squash Tortellini:IMG_6361

3 cups butternut squash, cubed

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp

1 1/2 tsp herbs de Provence

1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup whole milk ricotta

4 small almond biscotti, crushed (Giada’s recipe called for amaretti cookies however)

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1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 package small wonton wrappers

 

Brown Butter Sauce:

3/4 cup butter

2 tbsp fresh sage leaves, torn

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries (or cherries, or both!)IMG_6382

1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper.

Spread on foil-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Cook the shallots and garlic until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the butternut squash mixture, the shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. Add the crushed almond biscotti, the nutmeg, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until smooth. The tortellini filling can be made one day ahead.

To make the tortellini, lay out 6 wonton skins, keeping the remaining skins inside the package or under a very lightly dampened paper towel. Place 1 tablespoon of squash mixture in the middle of each skin. Dip a pastry brush in a little water and wet the edges of the skin. Gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are no air pockets inside. IMG_6412

Place the formed tortellini on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Before laying out another 6 wonton sheets, be careful to dry the work surface. This will help keep tortellini from sticking to the baking sheet. Continue until all the butternut squash mixture is used. There should be approximately 36 tortellini. (The tortellini can be formed, frozen on the baking sheet, transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and stored for up to six months. To cook, simply toss the frozen ravioli into the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.)IMG_6404

To make the sauce and serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.

Add the sage, walnuts and cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and season with salt and pepper.

Stir to combine. Then, gently place the tortellini in the boiling water and gently stir. When they begin to float they are done, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon the tortellini onto a serving platter, Top with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Please also check out my instruction video also found on littlekitchenproject.com !

Buon appetito!!