According to the calendar and my festive harvest display, fall is here. According to the weather, it is still August. This late season heat wave has really put a damper on my attempts at seasonal cooking! Despite the heat, I forged ahead with this recipe and am certainly glad that I did.
I will admit right now, I have never made homemade pasta. I know it isn’t supposed to be hard, but I don’t have the correct equipment, and honestly, usually don’t have the time. I’ve wanted to try my hand at making tortellini or ravioli before, but the pasta making element has deterred me. Then I came across this recipe which brilliantly uses wonton wrappers for the past shells. They work really well, and make this recipe pretty simple. It is still a bit time intensive, but not hard. If you have a few hours on a crisp Saturday or Sunday, take some time to whip these up. They are delicious!
The original recipe called for a sage brown butter sauce, which sounded great. I had a couple pieces of bacon I needed to use, so I invented this bacon sage sauce, which was delicious. I could see using any variety of butter, cream or wine based sauce with these.
Butternut Squash Tortellini
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 package small wonton wrappers
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a baking sheet toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small sauté 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 brown sugar and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until smooth.
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. Dampen the two bottom corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together, pressing lightly to secure. 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. I had several more, but I think my squash was more than 2 lbs. (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 tortellini into the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.)
To cook and serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the tortellini. They are done when they float to the top, about 3 minutes.
Bacon and Sage Cream Sauce
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup chicken broth (may use less)
- 6-8 sage leaves, chopped
- Splash of cream
Cook the bacon until crisp, remove from pan to drain, and crumble. Mix flour into the bacon grease to create a roux. Pour in about ½ cup of chicken stock, whisking to combine. The mixture should begin to thicken. Add more broth if it seems too thick. Add sage leaves and cream, whisking again. Continue to add broth to reach desired consistency. Taste for seasoning. Drizzle over tortellini, and top with the bacon crumbles.