Before you go away thinking that home made tortellini sounds like too much work, let me ask you one thing: did you know that you can make filled "pasta" at home using wonton wrappers?? Yes, you can. That not only makes it possible for anyone to make it, it also makes life easier, and mostly, it makes for an incredibly light dish, different from most filled pastas you find out there.
If my 5 year old can do it, you also can:
I found out about the multi-use properties of wonton wrappers a few years ago when I watched Giada De Laurentiis make this recipe that I am about to share with you. After trying that once, it instantly became part of my "favorite recipes folder"!
The flavors and textures in this butternut squash tortellini dish are to die for. After cooked, the wonton melts in your mouth, so what you are left with is a sweet, savory and creamy filling, complimented by the nutty brown butter, crispy sage, chewy cranberries and crunchy walnuts.
Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce
makes 30-36 tortellini
Recipe slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis. Original recipe can be found on FoodNetwork.com.
For roasting the squash:
1 small butternut squash (or half of a large one), about 2 pounds
olive oil to drizzle, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoons of herbs de Provence
For the filling:
2 shallots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
For the forming tortellini:
1 package of small wonton wrappers
For the Brown Butter Sauce:
3/4 cup of butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 tablespoons of chopped sage leaves
1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1- Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half (lengthwise), place it on a baking sheet (flesh side up), drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle it with herbes de Provence. Bring it to oven and roasted until very tender. When the squash is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
2- While the squash is in the oven, saute the chopped shallots and garlic: put them in a small pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and cook over medium-high heat until the shallots start to look golden in color. Let it cool.
3- When the squash is cool its skin should come off very easily. If not, scoop the squash out of the skin with the help of a spoon. Put the squash in a food processor. Add the ricotta, the sauteed shallots and garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pulse it until well combined and smooth.
4- Lay 8 wonton sheets on a clean and dry kitchen cloth. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each one of them. One by one, damp the edges of the wonton, fold the sheets into a triangle, pressing down to make sure that the edges are closed and there are no air pockets. Now dampen the two edges of the longest side of the triangle, bring them together and gently secure them. You just made tortellini! Lay the tortellini on a baking sheet and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Repeat the process until you use all the filling.
5- At this point you can keep the tortellini in the fridge for several hours until it is time to cook and serve it. Or, you can place them in the freezer (on that baking sheet covered with plastic wrap), wait until they harden, and then divide them into sealed bags and keep them in the freezer for a few months.
6- When ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add sage, walnuts and cranberries and let it cook until the butter starts to brown (about 3 minutes). Turn the heat off and season with salt and pepper.
7- Now place the tortellini into the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes (they are ready when they start to float). Gently spoon the tortellini out of the boiling water and place it on a platter or individual plates. Top it with the brown butter sauce, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
|Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs, and roast at 400F|
|Peel the skin off after it cools|
|Saute shallots and garlic|
|Place roasted squash, saute onion and garlic, ricotta, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a food processor|
|Now form the tortellini|
Now for the sauce:
|Melt butter. Add nuts, cranberries and sage,|
|Cook until the butter starts to brown.|
|Get ready to cook the tortellini|
|Cook the tortellini on salted boiling water for about 3 minutes|
|Plate the cooked tortellini and pour the sauce over it|
|Top with grated Parmesan|