Thursday, October 29, 2009

Butternut Squash Tortellini

So, I am really feeling in the Fall mood lately what with the rainy, cold weather and the appearance of squash on the farm! Yay! I love most types of squash but my favorite has to be butternut. The texture is so creamy and the flavor is so vivid! I use butternut squash all throughout the winter and even freeze some for use in the spring and summer.

This past weekend I decided to try a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis that I saw her make on her show "Everyday Italian" on the Food Network. It tasted divine, but there are a few things that I would do differently.

I started with one LARGE butternut squash. This thing was the size of two regular squash! Enormous! Anyway, I cut it up into cubes and roasted it in the oven with olive oil, herbs de Provence (which I purchased in the south of France last fall!), salt and pepper at 375 degrees. Now, the recipe says to roast it for about 25 minutes, but it took me much longer than that. In fact, it took about 50 minutes! I think I didn't cut the cubes small enough.

Yum! Look at that caramelization! It was sweet while the herbs gave it a savory flavor to balance out the sweetness.

So, from here I sliced up some shallots and garlic and let them get real soft in some olive oil.

Wow! I could stop there and eat just that! But I didn't. I put the squash, shallots and garlic in a food processor with a few other ingredients including my homemade amaretti cookies because I can't buy them in my small community. Here's the link to the recipe. My family thought they were delicious!

Here's what they look like when they are cooling on the rack.

Aren't they pretty? They aren't as crunchy as the store bought ones, but they do in a pinch and they taste great with french vanilla ice cream!

So, back to the recipe. In the food processor are the squash, shallots/garlic mixture, some amaretti cookies, ricotta cheese and a little nutmeg (I forgot the nutmeg, whoops!). Process it until it's fairly smooth. I had tons of this filling! More on that later.

Next you take some wonton wrappers and lay them out on a board like so.

From here, take a spoon and spoon about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of filling into the middle of the wonton wrapper. The amount will depend on the size of the wrapper. I purchased two different brands and one was definitely larger than the other. By the way, the recipe says one tablespoon. There is no way that one tablespoon will fit! Stick with the teaspoon.

Dip a pastry brush in some water and paint the outside edges of the wrappers to moisten and help the ends stick together. Fold one corner over so that you have a triangle shape with the filling enclosed. Make sure to press out any air and seal the edges. Moisten the two corners and bring them up together and seal. Voila!

From this point you can freeze them for another time or thrown them in some boiling water until they rise to the top. Word to the wise, use a deep pot for the boiling water as a couple of my tortellini stuck to the bottom. If you freeze them, you can throw them frozen right into the boiling water for about 4 minutes or until they rise to the top. Very easy!

Unfortunately I didn't get pictures while making the sauce. It's a very simple brown butter sauce that you add sage, walnuts and dried cranberries to but things were a little hectic at the end!

Interestingly, I had tons of the filling leftover after making over 60 tortellini. I plan on making a lasagna with that filling and will post that recipe when I get around to making it. For right now, the filling is in a plastic bag in the freezer.


1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
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 whole milk ricotta cheese
4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package small wonton wrappers
Brown Butter Sauce:
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or mixture of both
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To make the tortellini, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a foil-lined baking sheet toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. 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 amaretti cookies, 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. 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. (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.)

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.

Enjoy and let me know if you decide to make this one!

Monday, October 26, 2009

First Post!

So, this is my first post on a blog. How exciting! I will primarily blog about food here (I love food!) but may talk about other goings on in my life. Let the fun begin!