Sauce for pumpkin tortellini
March 1, 2004 6:21 AM   Subscribe

What type of sauce will go best with pumpkin tortellini? Anyone have good recipe suggestions?

I'm vegetarian, but any type of recipe will be appreciated.
posted by skwm to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
They should have plenty of flavor all their own. Try some garlic sauted in butter, perhaps a little bit of fresh sage tossed in as well.
posted by bondcliff at 6:28 AM on March 1, 2004

first rule: simplicity

melted butter and a very fine Parmigiano cheese. grated of course
posted by matteo at 6:34 AM on March 1, 2004

We eat pumpkin ravioli with a cream suace occasionally. For pumpkin/squash pasta, nutmeg's probably the most important flavor. Here's how I make bechamel sauce for pumpkin pasta:

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white flour
2 cups of milk
2 dashes of salt
black pepper
pinch of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed

melt the butter over low-medium heat and add the flour and garlic when it foams. Stir constantly for three or four minutes and take it off to sit for ten minutes. (this has to be done pretty exactly to get rid of the "floury" taste for the finished product.)

Simulataneously heat the milk to just below boiling with the bay leaf in it. then remove the bay leaf and whisk the milk into the butter/flour mixture. When it's free of lumps, add the rest of the ingredients, whisk some more, put the bay leaf back in, and let it simmer over very low heat for 15 or 20 minutes.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:42 AM on March 1, 2004 [1 favorite]

julienned fresh sage sauteed with butter.
posted by crunchland at 7:18 AM on March 1, 2004

Another vote for the simple yet incredibly delicious sage and butter "sauce". This was the preparation recommended to me by the man who makes and sells fresh pasta at our local farmer's market. It is really tasty.
posted by topherbecker at 7:29 AM on March 1, 2004

Pumpkin? Hmm... there's a pasta just crying out for something with a soft-edged tang. The thing that comes to mind for me is a light topping of something creamy with sun-dried tomato in it. Make your usual favorite cream sauce, but with little chopped-up nubbins of SD tom in it. Go easy on the sauce when serving; it shouldn't take a major slathering to get the flavors to blend nicely.
posted by majick at 8:01 AM on March 1, 2004

I'd have to agree with the sage butter suggestions.

There are two ways of doing which I would recommend: you can simply melt a few tablespoons of butter at medium high heat... just as the butter begins to brown and becomes aromatic, drop in a few sage leaves... one per serving. Be careful here, as butter can burn. I would suggest just a few seconds at the higher heat, then pull pan off heat. Let leave steep for a second. If you're on a gas range return pan to burner on low heat, add slivered garlic (to taste). Warm the garlic through.

Use sauce to dress fresh-cooked pasta.

Add parmesan and coarse-ground black pepper at the table. My preference is heavy on the pepper... light on the cheese.

If you like this, you may want to do what I do: create a stash of sage butter to store in the frig for multiple uses (french toast browned in sage butter... mmm). Here's my recipe for that:


1 LB unsalted butter.
8-10 sage leaves.


Clarify the butter by melting it over medium-low heat, and separating the white milk solids from the golden butter oils... some milk solids will form a foam that can be skimmed from the top, and the rest will settle to the floor of the pan. If you plan to strain the butter through a fabric sieve, remember that the toxins that are created when you bleach wood or fiber are _fat_ soluble — so be sure to use un-bleached fabrics. In the end, you don't have to be perfect, as the last bit of milk solids that are the hardest to remove are actually what cause the butter to "brown".

Once you've removed most of the milk solids, bring the clarified butter to high-heat. Drop in the sage leaves, and leave in until the butter turns a nutty brown and the sage has given up its best... be sure not to over-cook the sage or to over-brown the butter, as either will make the final product bitter.

Remove the sage, and strain the butter into a container with an air-tight lid... transfer to frig, and it will solidify into a firm mass. Use the sage butter as you like. Mine supply lasts me a month or so.

Why clarified butter? Well, butter has a nasty habit of burning at even moderate temperatures... but clarifying it allows you to use it (with a little caution — it is still butter after all) as you might other oils... for example in pan-searing pork loins.
posted by silusGROK at 8:11 AM on March 1, 2004

I've had pumpkin tortellini a few times in Italy with Gorgonzola sauce. In fact that's the only way I remember seeing it served. It's a great combination - the tang of the Gorgonzola nicely compliments the rich sweetness of the pumpkin. I've never made it myself though so no recipe.
posted by TimeFactor at 8:16 AM on March 1, 2004

I like the butter/sage & sun-dried tomato recipes...would it be incredibly wrong to combine them into a butter, sage & sun-dried tomato sauce? The cream sauce sounds great too, but unfortunately, by girlfriend is allergic to milk. A little bit of parmesean doesn't bother her too much though, but all that cream would.
posted by skwm at 8:17 AM on March 1, 2004

I'd go more for a root vegetable stew myself: turnips, sweet potatoes, fennel, onion etc.
posted by machaus at 8:21 AM on March 1, 2004

I've never been too keen on the sundried tomatos. Maybe it was their overuse a few years ago, or maybe it's the leathery consistency. And I've never really thought they added much to the party, flavor-wise.

But maybe that's just me.
posted by crunchland at 8:30 AM on March 1, 2004

Might also be good as a salad. Toss with artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, salad greens, crumbled goat cheese, and top with a peppery vinaigrette.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:42 AM on March 1, 2004

I've never seen sun-dried tomatoes used to good effect by home cooks... so that's my two cents worth.

The gorganzola sauce sounds dreamy, though... gorganzola melts readily, so you could just take some very good olive oil, warm some bruised garlic in it, then drizzle that over the pasta and crumble the cheese over that (and I'd add a generous grind of black pepper). The cheese will melt nicely, especially if its already at room temperature.
posted by silusGROK at 9:21 AM on March 1, 2004

When I saw your question, I thought of a sauce that's part of this recipe, Butternut Squash with Wild Rice and Creamy Walnut Sauce (Recipe Source) .

In blender (or food processor) combine following:

1/2 Cup sour cream
1/2 Cup toasted walnuts
1/3 Cup cream cheese
1/2 Cup milk
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon salt

I use this sauce in the linked recipe, and to me it sounds like it might go well with pumpkin tortellini, although obviously not so well for those with dairy allergies. Sorry 'bout that.
posted by marsha56 at 9:53 PM on March 1, 2004

The sage and butter sauce is also wonderful with the addition of braised leeks. If you want to add something to your sauce, I'd do this rather than go with sun-dried tomatoes. Personally, I'm too swept up with sage and butter to think about much additional doctoring.

The addition of leeks is really good with pastas stuffed with squash or sweet potatoes. Never had it with pumpkin, so YMMV.
posted by amery at 11:16 AM on March 2, 2004

I ended up making a sauce as such:
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
2 big handfuls of sliced baby portabello mushrooms
some cracked pepper
a bit of salt
3 sage leaves, minced
about 1/4 cup of freshly grated fancy parmesean

I was afraid to turn up the heat too high on the butter, so the garlic didn't brown, which I think would have made it a little bit was still very good, though. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!
posted by skwm at 8:39 AM on March 3, 2004

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