Monday, May 14, 2012

Amaretti Cookies and a Butternut Squash!

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day! I did! I even scored a bag of Italian amaretti cookies! Hooray!

When I have amaretti cookies on hand, I immediately think of Giada De Laurentiis' "Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce!" It is sweet and savory, and downright elegant! All you need is a simple green salad, a crusty baguette, and a nice glass of wine! Yum!

Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

Serves 6, about 36 tortellini

For the Tortellini
1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package of wonton wrappers

For the Brown Butter Sauce
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
1/2 cups toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or a mixture of both
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the Tortellini
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. 

Bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat and cook the shallots and garlic until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the butternut squash mixture, the shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. Add the crushed amaretti cookies, the nutmeg, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. The tortellini filling can be made one day ahead.

To make the tortellini, lay out 6 wonton skins, keeping the remaining skins inside the package and under a very lightly dampened paper towel. Place about a tablespoon of the squash mixture in the middle of each skin. Dip a pastry brush in a little water and wet the edges of the skin. Gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are no air bubbles inside. Dampen the two bottom corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together, pressing lightly to secure.

Place the formed tortellini on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Before laying out another 6 wonton skins, be careful to dry the work surface. This will help keep the tortellini from sticking to the baking sheet. Continue until all the butternut squash mixture is used. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to freeze the tortellini. (The tortellini can be formed, frozen on the baking sheet, transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and stored for up to six months! To cook, simply toss the frozen ravioli into salted boiling water for 4 minutes!)

Finishing the Dish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sage, walnuts, and cranberries to the butter, and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and season with salt and pepper.

Gently place the frozen tortellini in the boiling water and gently stir. When they begin to float they are done, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon the tortellini onto a serving platter or bowl, and top with the brown butter sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment