Monday 2 December 2013

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

I had planned to use dumpling wrappers to make this pasta as I have in the past, but when I got home, I realized I had purchased wonton wrappers.  But pretty much the same thing; expect with the kinds I usually buy, one is round and one is square.   I played around with the square ones a bit to work out a reasonable shape.  These are kind of like cappelletti.  Or maybe tortellini.  They are very similar, just a twist here or there makes the difference.

Two things always come to mind when making homemade stuffed pasta: (1) super easy and fresh and (2) I can't believe how little filling goes into each pasta - if you use too much it won't seal properly and you end up with a mess.

 Stuffed Pasta:
Olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
1 cup butternut squash puree*
2 oz goat cheese
* Halve and seed a 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, bake at 350 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes until tender.  Cool and remove flesh.

Add a small amount of olive oil to a heated saute pan.  Saute shallot until tender then add butternut squash puree.  Cook about 5 minutes to blend the flavours together.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Stir in goat cheese and some freshly grated nutmeg (2 or 3 passes on a grater).

While preparing pasta, keep the unused wonton wrappers moist by placing a slightly damp tea towel over top.  This prevents them from drying and cracking while rolling the shapes.

See pictures below for the technique I used.  Place about 1 teaspoon of cooled filling onto a wonton sheet.  Fold into a triangle and seal edges with water.  Push the lower tip upwards then pull the side tips backwards towards each other and seal again with water where they join.

Makes about 30.  Cook in salted boiling water, about 8-10 per serving (fresh pasta doesn't take long to cook maybe 7-9 minutes from fresh).

Mushroom Sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz cremini mushrooms, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp thyme
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream

Have lemon and fresh thyme available for serving.

Heat pan and add butter and olive oil.  When oil/butter is hot and bubbling, add mushrooms.  Cook on high heat until browned (don't fiddle with them too much).  Add shallots, garlic and thyme partway through and cook until softened.  Add heavy cream.

Toss cooked pasta with mushroom cream sauce.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice and add additional fresh thyme just before serving.

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