If you’ve logged onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat within the past couple weeks, I would bet you my brand new oven, that’s how sure I am, that you’ve seen at least 10 people post about their magical time at a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. My news feed is loaded with couples ‘candidly’ laughing at each other (yeah, right) while picking apples or pumpkins.
While these photos bring up many questions: “who’s taking the photo?”, “how many outtakes did it take to get that “candid” shot?”, and “how many filters did she put on it?”, that spirit of fall, annoying as it may be, wholeheartedly inspired this dish. Ever since I made spinach and ricotta ravioli in tomato broth, I’ve been so excited to make homemade pasta again, and the chance to show off in-season butternut squash was the perfect opportunity.
This recipe is a combination of flavors that shout “FALL IS HERE!!!!!” Think nutmeg, cinnamon, squash, and honey.
The sweetness of the squash is complemented by the honey and spices, and the parmesan balances that with a salty bite. The nuttiness and acidity of the sage brown butter sauce is a perfect pairing with the rich, sweet tortellini. You know the drill, let’s begin:
Steam squash* for 8-10 minutes in the microwave until very tender, and sprinkle over some honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple cider vinegar, and salt.
Brown butter in a saucepan (see this BuzzFeed article for awesome directions) and drizzle that over the squash as well.
*I got my squash already peeled, seeded, and cut in a 1.25 pound package from the grocery
Pop the squash mixture in a blender and puree until silky.
Fold in a very generous amount of parmesan, season to taste, and fill a pastry bag (or Ziploc with the corner cut off) with the puree.
Lay out your wonton wrappers, I use these, and pipe about a tablespoon of filling into the center of each wrapper.
So here’s the somewhat tricky part, folding them. Brush the edges of the pasta with water, and fold them in half diagonally. Using your thumb, make an indent in the middle of the bottom, and fold the corners together so they overlap. Use a drop of water to ‘glue’ the corners together, et voila! Beautiful tortellini!
I promise after a few of these you’ll be an old pro. They’re about to get draped in a brown butter sauce so no one will even notice if they aren’t perfect;)
The sauce is oh so easy, just brown a little butter, toss in some sage leaves, and squeeze in a little lemon. It seems too simple to be delicious, but just trust me and Mario Batali, its perfect.
So drop your tortellini in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until translucent, and then scoop them directly into the pan with the sauce.
Put that pan back on the heat, and let the pasta soak up some of that delish sauce. Sprinkle in parmesan, and tip into a few bowls. Top with a little more parmesan and dig in!
If you buy the squash that’s seeded, peeled, and pre-cut this is a super simple recipe that is sure to impress. However, you get major brownie points if you head to your farmer’s market and cut one yourself.
The filling recipe is adapted from the acclaimed chef of Flour and Water in San Francisco, and the sauce is from the God of Italian cooking, Mario Batali. With these two guys’ recipes, I can vouch that these are seriously the best tortellini I’ve ever had.
Once again, don’t be intimidated to make fresh tortellini; with the wonton wrappers it’s a cinch!
Butternut Squash Tortellini (serves 4-6) recipe adapted from here
- 1 and 1/4 pounds butternut squash (weight after seeding and peeling)
- 3 T unsalted butter
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 c parmesan (grated)
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1 package wonton wrappers (mine had 48)
- Place squash in a microwave proof bowl and add 1 T of water. Cover with plastic wrap and steam 8-10 minutes until very tender.
- Brown butter and add to squash along with honey, cinnamon, vinegar, nutmeg, and salt.
- Puree squash mixture until smooth, and fold in parmesan. Place in the fridge to cool.
- Fill a pastry bag with the squash and lay out wonton wrappers on a cool non-stick surface. I used parchment on a baking sheet.
- Pipe out a tablespoon of filling onto the center of the wrappers. Brush the edge of a wrapper with water, and fold in half diagonally. Make an indent in the bottom of the filling, and fold the corners to meet. Use a drop of water to glue them together. Repeat.
- Drop the tortellini in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent.
- Scoop them directly into the waiting sage sauce and toss to coat.
- Stir in parmesan, plate, and serve!
Brown Butter Sage Sauce (makes 4 servings) recipe from here
- 4 T butter
- 8 sage leaves
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- Melt butter in a saucepan until caramel colored and aromatic.
- Add in sage leaves and lemon juice and remove from heat.