Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Squash Tortelloni in Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Making pasta from scratch is certainly not a quick process. In fact, it's long and rather tiring and by the time you've folded that 50th tortelloni you're glad to be done with it. But, at the same time, there's something simple, calming, and almost meditative about the process. Pacing yourself while rolling the dough, reminding yourself to slow down as you fold each square of pasta: in a hurried world it's almost a luxury to take such time. Besides... the end result is pretty tasty.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c. water
- olive oil
- 4 cups cubed roasted squash: I used (I think) a Long Island Cheese Squash. Any flavorful winter squash should work.
- 3/4 c. ricotta cheese
- fresh sage
- salt, pepper
Start by making the pasta:
- Combine the flour and 1tsp salt and make a well in the center.
- Crack the eggs into the middle, add the water and 1 tsp olive oil. Whisk together and then stir them into the flour until a dough forms.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and kneed for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Cut the dough into quarters and begin rolling out.
- Keeping the surface floured, roll the dough out as thin as you can. You should get four squares at least 12 x 12" in size. Let the sheets rest for 15 minutes.
Next make the filling:
- The squash can be roasted up to two days before. Make sure it is completely fork tender.
- Put the squash in a large pan with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp finely chopped sage, 1 tsp salt, and a little pepper. Saute over medium heat while mashing the squash with a wooden spoon. You want to further soften the squash and get the excess water out.
- When the squash is consistently mashed, gently stir in the ricotta cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Turn off the heat and let the filling cool.
- Cut your pasta into squares, approximately 3 x 3".
- Spoon approximately 1 tsp of the filling onto the middle of the square. (If you want to make ravioli you can add a little more filling and just press another square on top.)
- Lightly wet the edge of the square and fold over opposite corners to form a triangle.
- Bring each side point into the middle and gently press to seal them together. Mine were slightly over-stuffed, so i didn't flip up the edges per tradition, but I still liked the results. Continue for each square.
- Make sure to place your ravioli onto a well-floured surface or parchment paper. Let them rest in a cool place for at least 10 minutes to set before cooking.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling but not violent boil.
- Gently lower the tortelloni into the pot, making sure they don't stick to the bottom. Multiple batches will be necessary.
- Cook each batch for about 5 minutes.
- In a small pan, melt butter over medium-low heat until it begins to brown. Add salt and a handful of sage leaves and fry them in the butter.
- Pour the browned butter and sage leaves over the tortelloni and top with just a little finely grated pecorino. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes around 48 tortelloni, enough to serve 4-6. They also freeze very well, uncooked. Freeze them on a plate and transfer them to a bag once they are solid.