Tortelli di Ricotta
Fresh tortelli takes on sophisticated flavor with ricotta cheese, butternut squash, and sage in this recipe from chef Michael White.
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds fresh spinach, washed, dried, tough stems removed
- 1 1/2 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- All-purpose flour, for work surface
- 1 pound Fresh Pasta Sheets
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup 1/4-inch cubed butternut squash
- 10 fresh sage, leaves
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. Add spinach to boiling water and cook until bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Drain and immediately transfer to ice-water bath to cool; drain and, using your hands, squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as possible.
Coarsely chop spinach and transfer to a large bowl. Add ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, eggs, and nutmeg; mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and set filling aside until cool.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust baking sheet and work surface with flour; set baking sheet aside. Place 1 sheet of pasta on prepared work surface and trim to a 6-by-18-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half horizontally and then vertically into 3-inch strips to make 12 squares. Repeat process with remaining pasta sheets.
Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of one pasta square. Lightly brush edges with water and cover with a second pasta square. Press down on pasta squares to seal, making sure to press out all of the air; trim edges with a fluted cutter and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat pasta with remaining filling and pasta squares to make tortelli.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter with olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add squash and cook until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add tortelli to boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes.
In a large skillet, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until butter just turns golden brown. Remove from heat and add sage leaves.
Drain tortelli, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water. Add tortelli and squash to skillet and toss to coat, adding pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as necessary. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper; serve immediately.