Winter Squash Tortelli with Mascarpone, Marjoram and Brown Butter


Photo by Katie Noble / Styled by Catrine Kelty

Winter squash, mascarpone and marjoram are a classic fall combination, found in ravioli, lasagna and other stuffed pasta dishes. These fat little dumplings are made from scratch but with a secret weapon: Store-bought wonton wrappers fill in for fresh pasta, so all you have to do is whip up the filling, stuff and boil. The best part of this recipe is its versatility—with a few ingredient changes, you can easily transform these Italian tortelli into Asian-style potstickers. Just leave out the mascarpone, swap cilantro for the marjoram and add some scallions, ginger and soy to the mix. Use round wonton wrappers instead of square, stuffing and folding in the same way but pinching and pleating the top edges. Pan fry and serve with soy-ginger dipping sauce.

Makes at least 48 tortelli, serving 6–8

1½ pounds peeled and seeded winter squash, cut into 2-inch chunks
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram or oregano leaves, plus more for serving
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
1 package square wonton wrappers
1 stick unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss the squash cubes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet until very soft and caramelized; don’t be afraid to roast the squash very dark—this develops the flavor you want—about 25–30 minutes. Remove from the oven and purée in a food processor until very smooth.

In a mixing bowl stir together the roasted squash purée, mascarpone, garlic, herbs, nutmeg and Parmigiano; add salt and pepper to taste.

Put a small finger bowl of water out on the counter and place a wonton wrapper in the palm of your hand. Drop a spoonful of squash mixture into the center of the wrapper and, using your fingers, moisten the edges of the wrapper all the way around with water. Bring 2 corners of the wrapper together to make a triangle and press to seal, squeezing as you go to remove any air. Bring the bottom 2 corners together and press to seal with water, making a little hat. Set aside on a towel-lined tray and continue until all of the filling is used up (if you have extra filling, freeze it for another use or use it as a sauce for boiled pasta). Refrigerate tortelli covered with a damp towel if not cooking right away.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, lower the dumplings into the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally until they all float to the top of the water, about 5–6 minutes.

While the dumplings cook, slowly melt the stick of butter in a shallow skillet and continue to cook until nutty and browned, being careful not to scorch it. When the pasta is done, transfer to the browned butter pan using a slotted spoon, tossing to coat and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve with extra grated Parmigiano Reggiano and marjoram on top, if you like.

This recipe appeared in the Fall 2018 issue as part of a larger story on Winter Squash and Pumpkins.