Butternut Squash Tortelli

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Butternut squash, roasted until tender and golden brown, offers a sweet and earthy balance to the creamy butter sauce draping the pasta. Crushed amaretti cookies add a welcome almond flavor and a lightly crunchy texture to the creamy filling. This generous recipe is easily halved. For a shortcut, substitute wonton wrappers for the fresh pasta and reduce cook time as needed for al dente results.

Butternut Squash Tortelli Recipe
Photo: Cedric Angeles
Active Time:
2 hrs 55 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 5 mins
Yield:
12 to 14

Ingredients

Butternut Squash Filling

  • 3 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium squash), halved lengthwise and seeded

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 3 ounces amaretti cookies (such as Asturi)(about 26 cookies)

  • 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (preferably aged), cut into small pieces (about 1 cup)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Pasta Dough

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (about 21 1/4 ounces), plus more for work surface

  • 6 large eggs

Additional Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter (8 ounce), cut into pieces

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Fresh sage leaves

Directions

Make the butternut squash filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush cut sides of squash halves evenly with oil. Arrange squash halves, cut sides down, on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in preheated oven until tender when pierced with a paring knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Flip squash halves over; let cool 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, process cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl. Process cheese pieces in food processor until small crumbles form, about 25 seconds. Add to cookie crumbs in bowl; set aside.

  3. Using a spoon, scrape flesh from cooled squash into a medium bowl; discard skins. Working in batches, spoon squash flesh into a fine wire-mesh strainer set over a sink. Using a rubber spatula, gently press squash to remove as much liquid as possible. Return squash to bowl; mash and stir until smooth. Stir in cookie mixture, salt, and nutmeg. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 days.

Make the pasta dough

  1. Mound flour on a clean work surface, and make a well in center. Add eggs to well, and use a fork to gently beat them; slowly incorporate flour into eggs until a batter forms. Using a bench scraper, scrape remaining flour up and into batter. Continue using bench scraper to cut flour into batter until a shaggy mass forms. Using your hands, bring shaggy dough together. Knead until pasta dough is smooth and bounces back when pressed, 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap; let rest at room temperature 1 hour.

  2. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap pasta dough, and divide evenly into 8 (1/4-pound) portions.

  3. Place 1 dough portion on a lightly floured work surface; cover remaining dough portions with plastic wrap. Roll dough portion on work surface into an oval shape until dough is thin enough to see through (about 1/16-inch thick). Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut dough sheet into 6 (4 1/2- x 3-inch) rectangles.

  4. Spoon a scant 1 tablespoon butternut squash filling on middle of each rectangle. Working with 1 dough rectangle at a time, place rectangle on work surface with long edge facing you. Fold dough in half diagonally over filling to form a triangle. Gently press out all of the air around filling. Bring together the 2 opposite corners of the triangle so they meet; press points to seal together, making a traditional tortelli shape. Place shaped tortelli in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. (Keep tortelli covered with a clean kitchen towel as you make them.) Repeat with remaining dough and filling to yield 48 assembled tortelli.

  5. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high. Add half of the assembled tortelli to boiling water, and gently stir once. Return to a gentle boil over high; cook, stirring occasionally, until tortelli are al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, remove tortelli from water, and hold over pot a few seconds to drain as much water as possible. Transfer drained tortelli to a large plate. Repeat cooking process with remaining tortelli, transferring the second batch to a large serving platter. If desired, return first batch of cooked tortelli to boiling water, and cook 1 minute to reheat; drain and transfer to a second large platter.

  6. While tortelli cook, add 1/4 cup water to a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low; gradually add butter pieces, and whisk until mixture is emulsified and thickened (do not let sauce boil). Remove from heat; stir in salt.

  7. Drizzle butter sauce evenly over tortelli on serving platters; sprinkle with shredded cheese, and garnish with sage.

Make Ahead

After resting, dough may be stored in refrigerator up to 1 day. Let come to room temperature before rolling. To freeze shaped, uncooked tortelli, place in an even layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, about 30 minutes. Transfer to ziplock plastic freezer bags, and freeze up to 1 month.

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