Tortelli with Pumpkin and Amaretti


by: Texas Chef

As always, throughout the different regions of Italy, recipes for filled pasta with pumpkin vary, sometimes they are spiced with ginger, sometimes nutmeg. In Mantova, in Emilia—Romagna, they tend to add a mustard fruit {mostarda di frutta) to the filling. Federico, my sous chef, is from Toscana and there they like the pumpkin completely plain. In my region, Lombardia, we like to add amaretti cookies, and when we have truffles, we sometimes shave some over the tortelli before serving. Pumpkins are in season from the middle of October until January, and one of the best varieties we have found is the ironbark. Because pumpkin flesh contains a lot of water, you need to dry it out before making the filling. When we make this at the restaurant, we start a day ahead, wrapping the processed, cooked pumpkin flesh in a clean cloth, then hanging it in the big walk—in fridge to drain away the excess moisture. You can do a similar thing at home, but if you want to make the recipe in more of a hurry, you can cook out the moisture in the pan. However, it will take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how wet the pumpkin is, and you will have to keep stirring it all the time.


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serves: 5

2 pounds pumpkin flesh (you will need a 5 1/2-6 pound pumpkin or 2 butternut squash)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 white onion (thinly sliced)

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

4 tablespoons crushed amaretti cookies

1 tablespoon bread crumbs

2 eggs

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 recipe quantity of fresh egg pasta dough

5 1/4 tablespoons butter

6 leaves sage

1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur

salt and pepper

Nutrition Facts
Tortelli with Pumpkin and Amaretti

Servings Per Recipe: 5

Amount per Serving

Calories: 489

  • Total Fat: 27.5 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 11.5 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 154.1 mg
  • Sodium: 417.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 48 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
  •     Sugars: 5 g
  • Protein: 14.3 g

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1.  Preheat the even to 390°F. Cut the pumpkin into chunks, put them on a tray, skin side down, add half a wineglass of water, cover and seal with foil. Put in the even for about 1 t0 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the chunks — until they are soft enough for your linger to press easily into the flesh.

2.  While the pumpkin is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook gently without allowing to color for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid.

3.  When the pumpkin is cooked, scrape the flesh from the skin and add to the onion. Turn on the heat again and cook for another 10 minutes so that the pumpkin begins to lose some of its moisture. If you are going to hang up the pumpkin flesh to drain, remove from the pan, put into a blender and blend until smooth, then season. If you are not going to drain it like this, continue cooking over a low heat for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the mixture has dried out. If it is still too moist, put it into a clean cloth and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.

4.  Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a mixing bowl, add half the Parmesan, half the crushed amaretti cookies, the bread crumbs, one of the eggs and grated nutmeg. Mix everything together, check and adjust the seasoning again, if necessary, and put to one side.

5.  Make the pasta dough and put through the machine. Make the tortelli as for the ravioli, using a plain rather than fluted cutter, and omitting the mint leaves.

6.  Bring a large pan of water to the boil for the pasta.

7.  You need two large saute pans — melt hall, the butter in each with half of the sage.

8.  Put the tortelli into the pan of salted boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, then drain and put half into each of the two sauté pans for a minute or so, basting them with the butter until it coats them. If the butter begins to turn too brown, add a few more pats of butter to bring the temperature down.

9.  Take 2 tablespoons of the remaining grated Parmesan and sprinkle a little over each of your plates, followed by the rest of the crushed amaretti cookies, and then put the tortelli on top. Sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan.

10.  Pour the sage butter from one pan to the other, than tip the pan toward you so that all the butter collects at the front of the pan and pour in the Amaretto (if you just pour it straight in, it may flame and burn the butter). Stir m quickly and pour over the tortelli.

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