|Well, after using our pasta maker a total of three times, it bit the big one. Crappy POS… Also, I had not been having good luck in the kitchen – the death of my pasta maker came only days after my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer decided to take a dive off my kitchen counter…
… ripping a wall outlet in the process, AND denting the beautiful floor that I tiled myself. AAAUGH! Fixing the floor will be a pain, and the mixer is definitely dead also. Boo!
Anyway, this is what I was making when the pasta maker busted. No fault of the pasta, btw – this makes the most beautiful pasta I’ve ever seen – soft, smooth, silky. Just gorgeous!
My husband actually didn’t get to eat many of these in an elegant, traditional, or even sit-down fashion: He was picking them off, straight off the pan after cooking! Yep, he would walk by every couple of minutes – we were in between meals – and grab a few room-temperature tortellinis… sans sauce. He would like to pass along that he found them *that* addictive!
As with the rest of the pastas we’ve made since buying our now-defunct pasta machine, Porter has been floored by the fact that he can eat these pastas without sauce, or would ever even want to. He grew up, just drenching store bought pastas in sauce to make them palatable, seeing them more as a delivery method for sauce, than anything.
I think it’ll be hard to feed him store bought again, after this. Guess we’ll have to find a sturdier model of pasta maker!
Acorn Squash Tortellini with Nutmeg Cream Sauce
Acorn Squash Pasta:
2 acorn squashes
4 Tbsp butter
2+ cups flour
Preheat oven to 400F
Cut each squash in half, scoop out seeds and “gunk”. Arrange on a baking sheet, and place 1 Tbsp butter and a pinch of salt in the hollowed out seed cavity of each squash. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until very tender. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly.
Scoop out the flesh of the squash, puree in a food processor until almost a paste. Transfer all but 1/3 cup of the puree to a bowl, cover and set aside.
In the food processor, combine that 1/3 cup puree with 2 cups of flour and 2 eggs. Blitz for about a minute, or until everything is evenly distributed and crumbly.
Remove the lid of the food processor, and pinch a piece of dough. If it’s sticky, add a little flour and blitz again, adjusting as necessary. When dough feels soft and a little moist, without actually being sticky, you’re good to go!
Dump dough out onto a floured surface, knead for 2-5 minutes, until soft and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes, to relax the gluten. Go ahead and make your filling while waiting!
Squash and Ricotta Cheese Filling:
1 1/2 cups squash puree
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup ricotta
1/8 – 1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
In a clean food processor, blitz ingredients until everything is smooth and well incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until use.
Nutmeg Cream Sauce:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/4+ tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, whisk cream cheese with wine until smooth. Stream heavy cream into mixture slowly, whisking constantly to form a thick sauce. Add nutmeg, whisking once more until smooth and uniform.
Heat sauce, stirring often, until it comes to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Acorn Squash Pasta dough
Squash and Ricotta filling
1 egg, whisked
Nutmeg Cream Sauce
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it well.
Run your dough through a pasta maker until it is as thing as you can get it. One sheet at a time, transfer pasta to a floured work surface, cut into 3″ diameter circles (I used a cookie cutter, you can use a drinking glass, etc)
Drop a bit of filling (~ 1/2 tsp) in the middle of each pasta circle.
Use a pastry brush to brush a little whisked egg around the edge of each round.
Fold each piece in half to form a half circle, pushing out excess air from around the filling as you go. Press to firmly seal edges.
Push the center (filling) towards the rounded edge, almost like you’re folding it in on itself.
As you push the center backwards, pull the two ends of the semi circle around it, pressing together to seal.
Transfer tortellini to boiling water in batches, cooking for 3-5 minutes or until they float to the surface. Strain well. Serve tortellini hot, topped with nutmeg cream sauce.