Butternut Squash Tortellini in a Creamy Sage Sauce

Right when I thought I was getting sick of squash, this tortellini recipe turned me around. It’s so delicious! Forming the tortellini was much easier than I thought it would be, and I used wonton wrappers which made it even less time consuming. Using chicken broth as the base for the sauce gave it a nice, light texture and kept it from being too rich or creamy. Overall, I would have to say this is one of my favorite pasta dishes I have made thus far. Success!

Ingredients: (adapted from Lingonberry Jam)

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 shallot, minced
1 large garlic clove, crushed and minced
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper
1 package wonton wrappers
1 egg, whisked (water works okay too)

Sage Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
4-6 sage leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the peeled and chopped butternut squash with olive oil, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Place squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes until fork tender. In the meantime, add a little oil to a pan and sauté the garlic and shallot together. When the squash is ready, place it in a food processor with the garlic/shallot mixture, nutmeg, ricotta, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix until well incorporated. Add the brown sugar and mix that in as well.

Get a pot of salted water going on the stove and add a little olive oil. Have a plate with a damp paper towel near your tortellini station to cover them so they don’t dry out before boiling. Start by laying a few wonton wrappers out and place a little of the squash mixture in the center. Make sure not to over-stuff them, or they will spill out when folding. With your finger, brush the edges with the egg. Fold in half to make a triangle. Fold diagonal side (with filling) over once. Turn pasta and place finger in the middle. Crisscross each side over your finger, then tuck the tails under and up in the middle. Boil all the tortellini together until they all float to the top.

In the meantime, make the sage sauce. Sauté a garlic clove with some olive oil, sprinkle in the flour and whisk well. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth next, making sure all the flour is well incorporated. Next add the fresh sage, followed by the Parmesan cheese. Mix well. When the tortellini are done, simple add them to a bowl and cover in as much sage sauce as you like.

Roasted Lemon Balm and Sage Chicken

I was pleasantly surprised this week when I got a huge bag of lemon balm. I had recently read a lot about it in one of my favorite hippie books and was excited to see what I could try. The first thing I did was make myself a cup of tea by ripping about 5 leaves and adding that with some fresh ginger to my tea ball, then letting it steep for 10 minutes. Very subtle and delicious! The next thing I made was this lemon balm and sage chicken. I had a ton of left over sage and saw it paired with the lemon balm in a few recipes, but I am sure it would be great with thyme or rosemary if you don’t have sage on hand. You could eat this chicken plain or over pretty much anything. I had some polenta and used that with a little Parmesan cheese mixed in. YUM.

4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
1 tablespoon fresh lemon balm, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the herbs, garlic and softened butter. Lift the skin of the chicken and spread the butter mixture underneath. Place the chicken skin side up on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil until coated well. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any loose herbs you may have leftover. Place the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. To get a good crisp on the skin, turn off the oven and spoon the chicken drippings from the pan over top of the chicken, then throw on the broiler and broil for a minute or two until skin is crispy!