The leaves are falling which gets me more than a little excited about all the comfort foods that naturally comes with it. I am not so excited about the pending cold weather though, but I just might be a fair trade off.
Fall foods mean warm spice combinations, rich sauces and desserts. Layers of flavours make their way onto the plate in lieu of the summer’s light and fresh fare. Preserves are prepared and stored on the shelf and as their profiles change with time it only deepens in richness as they sit patiently waiting to be opened. One of my favourite fall foods to work with is pumpkin due to it’s creamy texture and all the additional moisture it brings to baking and other dishes.
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to receive some sugar pumpkins from friends each fall and that helps feed the craving to work and consume pumpkin.
The bright orange flesh is easily roasted in the oven halved or quartered depending upon the size with a light olive oil rub and a light sprinkling of some salt an pepper to taste. I find sugar pumpkins are best for baking cooking as they are a sweet and the flesh is not as grainy as the usual ones used on Halloween for jack-o-lanterns. The roasting usually takes about an hour or so and they are cooked once the rind can be easily pierced with a fork. Slightly cool the roasted portions, remove the rind and whiz the flesh in a food processor or blender in batches to get a smooth constancy.
Most of us do not have the time to use all the prepared pumpkin puree at once and the good thing is that is can be poured into plastic containers or bags and set in the freezer for future use.
With the addition of the pasta roller to our repertoire of kitchen tools it was natural to experiment with pumpkin tortellini. The soft pasta exterior and the creamy pumpkin interior surprise is top notch. The savoury and depth of the browned sage butter compliments the taste of the seasoned pumpkin filling. It is so good, you may have an ‘Ahhhh’ moment upon the first bite.
The prepared dish is also versatile as it has enough depth to stand on it’s own as a main course but in smaller portions is delightful as a side to fall inspired meat dish such as wild game, duck or poultry. It would even be a great starter course to a seasonally festive meal.
The inclusion of a small amount of bread crumbs helps reduce the water content of the filling and gives the pumpkin puree some structure that makes it much easier to work with when assembling the pasta forms. The pumpkin spice mixture will warm you palette and have you begging for more.
I hope you will indulge yourself in this delectable treat and share it with those you love.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg yolk beaten
- 2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 4 tsp pumpkin spice
- 8-10 large sage leaves
- 1/4 cup butter
In stand mixer with dough hook, combine flour and salt. Add egg one at a time & mix thoroughly until all 4 are added. While the mixer is still working, add the oil in slowly until the flour forms a ball shape.
Remove from mixer and knead on a floured work surface until the dough is elasticized and has a smooth texture. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, mix all ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Once the rest time has passed, divide the dough in half and cover the remaining half with the plastic wrap. On floured surface form the dough into a long rectangle that will fit in the pasta roller. Starting at the widest setting, roll the dough through a couple of times, then reduce the width one notch on the pasta roller. Repeat with running the dough through a couple of times. Continue this process of reducing the width and running the dough through until you reach the thinnest setting.
Dust the rolled sheet with flour & place on lightly floured work surface. Use a round cutter that is approximately 3-4 inches in diameter. Place filling in the center of each round. Use the beaten egg yolk to help seal the top half of the circle. Fold the bottom half to meet the top & lightly press with your fingers. Take the edge of the now half circle, bring them together and pinch with your fingers. Continue this process with the other half of the pasta dough.
Once all the tortellini has been made, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add tortellini & cook for approximately 5 minutes or until they start to float.
While the tortellini is cooking, heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until browned. Add the sage leaves and fry until crisp. Remove the sage leaves and the fry pan from heat.
Plate the tortellini & cover with the brown butter sauce. Add the cooked sage leaves for garnish.
If you want to prepare the tortellini ahead of time or store it. Place the uncooked tortellini on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in freezer. Once frozen, place in plastic freezer bags and store back in the freezer.