Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a national government stopped working. And federal employees found themselves sent home without pay. This was bad news all around, but it was slightly mitigated by the fact that at least one food blogger acquired a sous-chef for a lovely afternoon cooking session.
And that was how my sister found herself not working for a great senator from the state of Minnesota, but perched at my kitchen island, folding dozens of butternut squash tortellini. Thank you, furlough.
I initially served this tortellini with cranberries, pecans, and a brown butter sauce, but I wasn’t a huge fan. (I don’t think I’ve fully grasped the concept of brown butter yet.) I much prefer this pasta lightly covered with a warm, garlicky broth, so the butternut squash flavor can shine. The sage lends a touch of sophistication to the dish, but it’s still comfort food at heart.
If you need a refresher course in how to fold tortellini (it’s fun, I promise!) click here.
Butternut Squash Tortellini in Garlic-Sage Broth
Butternut Squash Tortellini
- 1 pound peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp. dried nutmeg
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 recipe homemade pasta, or 1 package wonton wrappers
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. flour
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 4 sage leaves
- kosher salt
- freshly grated parmesan
Make the tortellini filling: Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss together squash, 1 Tbs. olive oil, basil, oregano, and rosemary on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until squash is soft, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallot and garlic, and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Puree baked squash, shallots, and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Stir in nutmeg, ricotta, and salt and pepper to taste.
Roll out fresh pasta and slice into squares, or use wonton wrappers. Place 1 tsp. filling on each square and fold. (For more in-depth instructions, see here.) Reserve 24 or so tortellini and freeze the rest.
Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling.
Meanwhile, make broth: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in stock and sage leaves and bring to a boil. Once the stock is boiling, remove the sage leaves. Continue to boil until the stock has reduced to about 2 cups, about 10 minutes, and add salt to taste.
When the broth has 4-5 minutes remaining, add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Spoon tortellini into bowls. Top with broth and freshly grated parmesan.
Serves 4 first courses or 2-3 main courses.