Butternut Squash Tortellini

MAKES: 60 About 60 tortellini

TIME: 11/2 hours, with prepared pasta sheets

A slightly more complex stuffed pasta; each one requires a bit of work, but you can just make pansotti (see variation) if you don’t have the time. Serve the tortellini in a flavorful broth or with Brown Butter with sage or rosemary leaves or the sauce from Pasta with Garlic and Oil and any of the variations.

2 cups cooked (preferably baked) butternut squash

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

All-purpose flour for dusting

1 recipe Fresh Egg or Eggless Pasta, rolled into sheets

Pure the squash, preferably by passing it through a food mill or ricer. Combine it in a bowl with the eggs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Taste; if the mixture is not sweet, add a little sugar. Stir in the Parmesan and taste again; add more of any seasoning you like.

Lightly flour a work surface with some flour. Cut any length of fresh pasta dough so that it is 4 or 5 inches wide. Cut into 2- to 21/2-inch squares.

Brush the dough very lightly with water so it will stick together when you shape the tortellini. Put a small mound (about a rounded teaspoon) of stuffing on each square and fold into a triangle, pressing tightly to seal the edges. Fold the widest point toward the stuffing, then pick up the triangle and press the two bottom points together. Put your finger inside the newly formed ring and fold over the top of the dough inside the circle. Press to seal. Keep the tortellini separate until you are ready to cook. (You can prepare the tortellini up to this point in advance; dust with flour and refrigerate for up to a day or freeze.)

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the tortellini, 30 or so at a time, for just a few minutes, until they rise to the surface. Drain, sauce, and serve immediately.

Variations

Butternut Squash Triangles. A simpler stuffed pasta essentially a triangle ravioli (if you really want to cheat, start with store-bought dumpling wrappers): Just fold the pasta into triangles (no further folding necessary). Proceed to Step 4.

Sweet Potato Tortellini. Great boiled and sauted with extra virgin olive oil and pumpkin seeds (see Pasta with Garlic and Oil): Substitute cooked sweet potato for the butternut squash and omit the sugar.

Potato Tortellini. Leftover mashed potatoes work great here; serve with Cheesy Tomato Sauce: Substitute cooked potatoes for the butternut squash, omit the sugar, and add 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs if you like.

7 Sauces to Serve with Stuffed Pasta

  1. Fast Tomato Sauce
  2. Traditional Pesto
  3. Brown Butter with sage, rosemary, or thyme leaves
  4. The sauce from Fettuccine Alfredo
  5. The sauce from Pasta with Butter and Parmesan
  6. The sauce from Pasta with Garlic and Oil
  7. The sauce from Pasta with Walnut Sauce