Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Squash Tortellini:

* 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

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.


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