~Molly & Jamie At the Green Market~
From Food Stylist Molly:
Fall just might be my favorite time of year. It’s the New Englander in me! I love the leaves’ changing colors and the crunch of the fallen ones beneath my feet; the clear sunny days and cool nights; temperature perfect for boots and tights and scarves. I think it’s the absolute best time for the farmer’s market as well. There is a huge range of delicious choices being harvested: apples, pears, squash, kale, Rocambole garlic (the hard-neck variety) and the remainders of summer such as tomatoes, lettuce and peppers.
For me, the best part is seeing all the amazing varieties of squash and pumpkins that are available. They come in so many shapes, colors and textures. There is something whimsical and fantastic about them. Most recipes you see call for butternut squash, but I encourage you to try some of the other varieties. One of my favorite is acorn squash. Much like butternut, acorn squash is widely available and has a sweet, nutty flavor.
We’ve roasted our acorn squash to act as the base for our tortellini filling. As always, I encourage you to roast the seeds. Sprinkle them with a little sea salt and roast at 300 until crisp! They will make the perfect snack while you’re working away on your pasta and tortellini.
Acorn Squash Tortellini
•2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
•3 eggs, room temperature
Measure your flour and pour onto a clean, dry surface. Make a large well in the center, keeping the walls of flour about 2” thick.
Crack the eggs into the well and carefully start beating the eggs with a fork. Gradually start mixing more flour into the eggs. If you think you’ll make a mess (as I have done many times before) feel free to do this process in a large mixing bowl.
Once you have a thick paste, begin to work the mixture with your hands, incorporating as much flour into the dough as it allows.
Knead the dough for about ten minutes, dusting with flour as you go, until you have a smooth, rather firm ball of dough.
Wrap the dough with saran wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
•1 medium acorn squash (should yield about 1 1/2 cups roasted squash)
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•2 shallots, very finely diced
•2 tablespoons cream
•2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
•1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
•3/4 teaspoon salt
•few grinds of fresh cracked pepper
Preheat the oven to 375. Halve the acorn squash and scoop out the seeds (reserving, if you would like to roast them separately). Brush the exposed flesh with olive oil. Place flesh-side down on a baking tray and roast for 25-35 minutes, or until very tender.
In a small sauté pan, gently sweat the garlic and shallots with a bit of olive oil over low heat until tender… about 5 minutes.
Scoop the roasted squash into a mixing bowl and discard the skin.
Add the garlic-shallot mixture along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
Back to the dough!
When it has fully rested, cut the dough in half. Wrap the second piece of dough until it is ready for use. Flatten the dough with your hands so that it will easily feed into the rollers. Starting on the largest setting, begin rolling the dough. Fold the dough back on itself a few times and switch the direction in which you feed the dough through the rollers. This will help create a smooth, strong pasta. Once you feel good about your dough, fold your pasta into thirds and flatten. Run the pasta through the rollers twice. Then adjust your roller to the next setting, rolling the pasta through each level until you reach the last setting. If the pasta sheet becomes too long to manage, cut in half.
Lay the finished pasta sheets on a baking tray lined with a clean kitchen towel. Make sure that there is a layer of cloth between each sheet of pasta. The sheets stick together very easily. Also, be sure to keep them well covered! The fresh pasta will become brittle and dry very quickly if left exposed.
Once you have rolled all of your dough, you’re ready to start making the tortellini! Have a small cup of water handy.
Working one sheet at a time, cut the dough into 3”x3” squares (I used a fluted pastry wheel).
Place a small scoop of prepared filling into the center of each square.
Dip your finger into the cup of water and brush two sides of the square.
Fold in half to make a triangle and seal the edges.
Fold the two bottom points of the triangle together and seal together with another small brush of water.
While you’re working, put a large pot of salted water up to boil. If you’re not cooking your tortellini right away, I recommend freezing them. I think it is the best way to store them. Otherwise they can get soggy and stick to one another very easily. Just be sure to lightly dust the tortellini and layer them gently in a Tupperware container.
Once your tortellini have been made, start the sauce just a few minutes before cooking them.
(adapted from Giorgio Locatelli’s, Made in Italy)
•1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes
•1 shallot, finely diced
•1/4 cup white wine
•2 tablespoons heavy cream
•salt and pepper, to taste
Melt a pad of butter in a small sauté pan. Add the diced shallot and cook over low heat until tender. Turn up the heat and add the white wine. Boil until it has reduced by about two-thirds. Lower the heat slightly and add the heavy cream. Slowly start incorporating the remaining butter, whisking as you go. The sauce should start to thicken and become light and creamy. Don’t let this mixture boil or your sauce will break! Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready for use.
Cook the tortellini in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Serve with the butter sauce and top with a small sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg, grated Parmesan and chopped chives.
~ Recipe and words by Food Stylist, Molly Shuster. Photography by me.
An ongoing collaboration, please do see more recipes from our series!