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Butternut Squash Tortellini

I based my dish on a recipe by Giada DeLaurentis.  However, I’ve made this dish before, but I was unable to find amaretti cookies at the store.  If you can find the cookies, use them.  It adds a nice flavor to the dish.

I substituted a little bit of fresh thyme from our CSA for the herbs de provence, and roasted some onions from the farmer’s market with the squash in lieu of the shallots.  I’m not crazy about nutmeg, so I substituted cinnamon.  The recipe is flexible enough to make similar adjustments as you see fit.

The use of wonton wrappers is a nice shortcut that can be applied to any tortellini recipe.  You can usually find them in the fresh vegetable section, by the fresh herbs (that’s where they seem to be stocked at the local Harris Teeter, Giant, and Safeway stores I’ve been to).

INGREDIENTS

Filling:

  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, skim
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbps milk, if needed
  • 1 package small wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg

Brown Butter Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (for 2 servings)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/6 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut butternut squash into cubes and dice onion.  Toss on a cookie sheet with oil,  salt, and pepper.  Bake at 375 until vegetables are tender.  Cool.
  2. Pulse the squash and onions in the food processor with ricotta cheese, thyme, and cinnamon.  Empty into a bowl.  Thin mixture with 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.  It should hold it’s shape when spooned, but not be too thick.
  3. Beat the egg in a smal dish with 2 tablespoons of water.  Remove wonton wrappers from the bag, six at a time and place on a flat, clean surface.
  4. Place one tablespoon of mixture into each skin.  Dip your finger into the egg wash and run it along two edges of the skin to make an “L”.  Fold the opposite corner over to seal the skin, creating a triangle.  Place eggwash on the two long ends, and fold together to meet.
  5. Place completed tortellini on a cookie sheet.  Repeat the process until the filling is gone.  At this point, you can freeze the tortellini on the cookie sheet.  After 30 minutes, they can be transferred to a freezer bag and cooked at a later date.
  6. If you are serving immediately, bring a pot of water to a boil.
  7. In a skillet pan, melt butter until it is clarified and almost brown.  Do not burn.
  8. Add pine nuts and toss until toasted.
  9. Drop the tortellini into boiling water.  Cook 2-3 minutes, until skins are translucent and tortellini float.
  10. With a slotted spoon, transfer the tortellini to the skillet and toss in butter and pine nuts.
  11. Add cranberries, salt, pepper, and half of the parmesan cheese to the skillet.  Toss.
  12. Plate the tortellini, and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.

Note – I usually make a batch, cook half, and freeze the rest on a cookie sheet.  They hold up great in the freezer!  As such, the brown butter recipe is proportioned for two servings.  You can multiply the recipe to meet your needs (or if you really love butter sauce).

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