BUTTERNUT SQUASH TORTELLI WITH BUTTER AND SAGE (for six)
1 butternut squash, about 1-½ pounds
¼ cup (½ ounce) fresh bread crumbs
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1 pound fresh pasta dough, rolled into sheets, or purchased fresh pasta sheets (or about 64 dumpling or wonton wrappers)
½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
40 to 50 small fresh sage leaves
1. Make the squash filling. Preheat the oven to 400*. Line a baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper.
2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place on the prepared baking sheet, cut side down, and bake until very soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool to the touch. Peel the squash, coarsely chop the flesh and puree it in a food processor. Add the bread crumbs, egg yolk and ¼ cup of the cheese and pulse to blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg and pulse to combine. Set aside.
3. Assemble the tortelli. For fresh pasta: Place a pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon squash filling onto the pasta as 2 inch intervals. Using your finger or a pastry brush, lightly dampen the edges of the pasta sheet and the spaces between the filling with the egg-water mixture. Top with a second pasta sheet and press with your fingers along the edges and around each mound of filling to seal and remove air bubbles. Cut into squares with a straight edged pastry wheel or a sharp, thin-bladed knife, then press the edges to secure. Make sure the filling does not break the seal, or the tortelli will come apart during cooking. For wonton or dumpling wrappers: Put 1 tablespoon filling in the center of a wrapper. Lightly brush edge of wrapper with water, then place a second wrapper on top and seal, pressing out any trapped air. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling, keeping tortelli covered as you work.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sage and cook, without stirring, until the leaves crisp slightly and infuse the butter, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
5. Generously salt the boiling water, add the tortelli and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Spread the tortelli on a warmed platter, top with the sauce, and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with a small amount of nutmeg, if desired. Serve at once, passing the remaining ¾ cup cheese at the table.
NOTE: Sometimes ¼ cup crushed amoretti (about 8 small cookies) is added to the filling.
adapted from The Williams Sonoma Cookbook