Meatless Mondays: Butternut Squash Tortellini

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This post will actually be a two-parter, since I will first share with you the primary recipe and a recipe for homemade amaretti cookies.

I made this recipe a few years ago for the first time and again this year, earlier this winter.  I currently have at least 2-3 meals' worth of tortellini in the freezer, and have already enjoyed them 1-2 times.  This is the recipe that keeps on giving.

There are a few steps involved in this recipe, and it is time intensive, but if you like butternut squash, and the idea of making your own tortellini intrigues and excites you rather than makes you roll your eyes and wonder whoever would want to make their own pasta when it's so readily available in stores, then try this recipe.  It's delicious.  It's so good, even my non-pasta loving husband looks forward it it.  It's also a recipe that will make you feel like you have kitchen cred.  Go on, invite some friends over.  Tell them you made the pasta.  I'd be impressed.  Feel free to invite me over if you make this.  I'll eat it and swoon.

Another note on the steps- they can be broken up over a period of days, which makes for decently quick work each day.

I am posting the recipe below as you can find it on Food Network's website, and at the bottom, in the notes section, I posted my slight variations.

Butternut Squash Tortellini 
from Giada de Laurentiis
4-6 servings


1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoon 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 small wonton wrappers

Brown Butter Sauce:

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or 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

To make the tortellini, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a foil-lined baking sheet toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of 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. 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 with salt and freshly ground black 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 or under a very lightly dampened paper towel. Place 1 tablespoon of 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 pockets 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 sheets, be careful to dry the work surface. This will help keep tortellini from sticking to the baking sheet. Continue until all the butternut squash mixture is used. There should be approximately 36 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 the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.)

To make the sauce and serve, 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 and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and season with salt, and pepper.

Stir to combine. Then, gently place the 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, Top with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.


  • I have found I have to use about 1 teaspoon or so of filling in the wonton wrappers.  This means I end up using about a pack and a half of wrappers, and get around 60 tortellini.  Any more filled, and they end up squirting out of the edges.
  • Since I often make only a fraction of the tortellini at any given time, I just eyeball the sauce ingredients.  I have never used the dried fruit.  Instead, I use the butter, nuts, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and sage leaves.
  • As an alternative to walnuts, hazelnuts are great.  That's what I have been using.  I am sure pecans or almonds would be good here too.
  • Because my small town doesn't have amaretti cookies, I used a recipe I found off Martha Stewart's website, which will be shared later in the week.  

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