Tortelli with Butternut Squash Filling

If you ever feel guilty eating pasta, well, rejoice: this recipe offers a great combination of pasta and vegetables, this time under the form of a savory and mouthwatering filling.

Tortelli are also called ravioli in other parts of Italy. They are a form of stuffed pasta that exists in various forms since centuries in Italy and other parts of Europe. Comfort food by excellence, the soft, yellowish pillows of pasta reveal an intriguing inside filling that can be made up with a variety of vegetables, nuts and cheese, more or less rich in calories and taste. The shape is also variable: it can be square, round or halfmoon shaped, large or small.

Making your own raviolis will allow you to select the ingredients of the filling according to your own creativity and taste.

The squash stuffed tortelli are a traditional fall recipe from Northern Italy, particularly from the city of Mantova. The unicity of this recipe is that the filling, based on zucca, a generic word for pumpkin, is enriched with another specialty from the region: amaretti. Those bittersweet cookies made with the kern of apricots and almonds are grinded in the filling, giving it a unique taste. I remember the first time I tried them in Mantova: it was a defining moment in my youth! Truth is that in Mantova they also add another specialty, called mustard, that has little to do with the American mustard: basically, candied and preserved fruits with spices in a jar – but for this time I will skip it, as it is difficult to find and time consuming to make.

Usually, the sauce for tortelli is very simple, mostly butter and sage and – of course – Parmigiano; it creates an amazing contrast of flavors with the powerful filling of the dish.

For a festive presentation I like to sprinkle some amaretti crumbs on the finished dish.

It is definitely an elegant dish, and it will give you a lot of satisfaction to make your own!


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For 4 Servings

1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)