Tortellini with Butternut Squash, Artichoke Hearts and Pecorino

 

tortellini-with-butternut-squash-artichoke-hearts-and-pecorino

Butternut squash and artichoke hearts, steamed to tender perfection and then tossed with cherry tomatoes, olive oil and pecorino freshly grated Romano cheese.  Topped with toasted pine nuts, this was a perfect meal for a January evening. 

This recipe came from the book “A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash” by Lou Seibert Pappas, which was a gift to Cath from her sister, Peg.  It was the first recipe we’ve tried from the book, and we agreed it was a tremendous success.

Assembling the ingredients was easy, and the preparation was as simple as tossing and serving.  We enjoyed this as a part of our own “Dinner and A Movie” night at home, and at times it was hard to concentrate on the dialogue, as we were continuously ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the many wonderful flavors.  Each bite seemed to bring a little something different, and we did our best to savor every one.

Although it wasn’t stated in the recipe, the artichoke hearts and Pecorino Romano cheese spoke of Italian cuisine to us, so we paired it with a 2007 Santa Cristina Antinori and we were very pleased.  I have a good feeling that I’ll be blogging quite a few meals from this fantastic book!

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces tortellini (we used a three cheese tortellini)
  • 1 lb butternut squash
  • 1 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, but into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or pistachios (we used pine nuts, but pistachios sound very interesting!)

Preparation:

Bring a large-saucepan three-fourths full of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook until al-dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the squash in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 7 to 8 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife.  Peel away the skin, and cut into 3/8-inch dice.

Drain the pasta and turn out into a warmed bowl.  Add the squash, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, oil and cheese.  Toss to mix, and sprinkle with the nuts.  Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate until serving time. 

(NOTE:  We served this freshly tossed and warm, and I can’t imagine doing otherwise.  The warmth of the pasta and squash brought out the flavors in the artichokes and tomatoes, and that’s my recommendation.  Try it and tell me what you think!)

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