Thursday, 20 January 2011

Tortelloni di zucca e mascarpone - Butternut squash and mascarpone tortelloni

For an experiment we decided to try the River Cafe recipe for butternut squash tortelloni. In particular, we wanted to see how the fresh pasta turned out. In Emilia-Romagna all the sfogline we have consulted or seen in action have told us that the recipe is one egg per 100g of flour and nothing else apart from salt. Whereas the River Cafe recipe is for a mixture of whole eggs and egg yolks plus olive oil. Giorgio Locatelli claims to have made pasta with 52 yolks to a kilo of flour when he worked in Rebuchon in Paris.

Anyway, the pasta part of the River Cafe recipe works well but to intensify the flavour of the filling, we had to radically reduce the amount of parmesan and mascarpone in the filling and to roast the butternut squash.


for the pasta

350g type 00 flour

2 medium eggs

5 medium egg yolks

½ tbl sea salt

½ tbl olive oil

for the filling

0.75k butternut squash or pumpkin

50g butter

2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced

salt and pepper

200g mascarpone

200g parmesan

½ nutmeg

for the sage butter

1 bunch fresh sage

100g clarified unsalted butter


1. Using a mixer or processor, combine the flour, salt, olive oil and eggs. Using a dough hook, knead slowly for 10 minutes until you have a smooth ball of dough. If necessary add another egg yolk.

2. Dust the work surface with flour, then knead the dough for 4 minutes until it is completely smooth. Wrap it in cling film and put in the fridge.

3. Roast the butternut squash in a medium hot oven for 30 minutes. Then scoop out the pips, scoop out and mash the flesh.

4. Fry the garlic in the butter and add to the squash. When cool stir in the mascarpone, parmesan and nutmeg. Season to taste.

5. If rolling by hand, roll the dough out on a floured surface until you can see a patterned tea towel through it.

6. If using a machine, flatten the dough and cut it into four, then put each quarter through at each setting, gradually reducing the setting until you have the thinnest.

7. Cover the pasta with a tea towel to prevent it drying out.

8. Take a strip of pasta and distribute a teaspoonful of the filling every 4cms using a teaspoon or piping bag (much easier).

9. Take another strip of pasta and lay it over, squeezing the two strips together, working from one end to the other, and using your fingers to exclude the air as you do.

10. Use a small cutting circle to cut out the tortelloni. Or, if you prefer, a square.

11. For the sage butter, heat the clarified butter in a large frying pan and when hot add the sage leaves for a second or two. Remove from the heat. Remove the sage.

12. Boil the tortelloni in plenty of salted water for three or four minutes.

13. Briefly sauté the tortelloni in the butter.

14. Divide the pasta between four warm bowls and place a sage leaf or two on each.

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