Friday, March 18, 2011

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed With Cheese Tortellini

I love Tyler Florence's cookbook, "Stirring the Pot." I made an interesting recipe from the book with acorn squash and ravioli. It was really good and very rich. I think it would be really great as an appetizer at a party or as a Tapas dish. A little too rich for a main course, plus, the flavors are so complex with the nutty squash and sweetness of the tortellini, it needs to stand out on its own. These are just my thoughts on the matter. But along with it I also made creamy mushroom soup and brussel sprouts with fresh parmesan and bacon.

I think I've gotten the vacation I have been wanting without going anywhere, not working these past few days. And I've gotten to be productive as well, getting things in order I haven't had time to do in a while. (The side boards in the bathroom really needed to be scrubbed). And I've had time to actually cook!

But back to the recipe. For being so interesting, the execution is actually simple. It calls for store bought tortellini which makes it easy. And I found whole wheat at the grocery store. I didn't have heavy whipping cream, so I did make up for that by using half and half and a little bit of cream cheese, plus more parmesan, so those were my modifications. (I told you it was rich).

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Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed With Cheese Tortellini (serves four)

2 medium acorn squash
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
1 pound store bought cheese tortellini (mine was ravioli, which worked fine, but tortellini will fit better in the squash)
2 cups half and half
1 garlic clove
1 sprig fresh thyme (I used dried)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Extra fresh parmesan

Preheat oven to 350. Cut the squash in half and scrape out seeds. Cut a small piece off the rounded edge of both halves to give them a base to sit on. Place the squash halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until tender.

Cook the tortellini in boiling water according to package directions and drain well. Set aside.

In a separate saucepan heat half and half until bubbling around the edges. Don't let it rapidly boil. Add garlic and thyme and simmer for two minutes. Add cream cheese and nutmeg and whisk until smooth. Add cheese and stir until creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Toss tortellini with cream mixture, season with salt and pepper, then divide among squash bowls. Sprinkle with cheese then bake at 400 for another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.

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For the brussel sprouts: halved them and sauteed them in olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan and bacon. Squeeze a little lemon juice over them with salt and pepper.

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Creamy mushroom soup is also simple, I just made it up as I went along.

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Saute mushrooms and chopped onions until golden. Pour in some white wine and let simmer off. Add a clove of garlic and saute for another minute. In a blender process the mushrooms and onions with milk or half and half and 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh parmesan. Delicious flavors.

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