Bring a little pizzazz to ordinary pasta by alternating pasta styles and deviating from the everyday sauce. Forget the traditional spaghetti and marinara sauce — try ravioli’s shapely cousin, the tortellini. For seasonal embellishment, enjoy this recipe for Spinach Tortellini in Pumpkin Sauce.
Tortellini, just like ravioli, is a stuffed pasta, be it with cheese, beef or mushroom. For this vegetarian dish, go with a light spinach-stuffed tortellini. Also, make life even easier by purchasing the pasta instead of attempting the lengthy process of making it at home. For additional nutritional benefits, serve this packaged tortellini with freshly sauteed spinach.
This stuffed pasta is famous for its recognizable curly-cue, ring shape and its unusual history. Originally from Modena, Italy, the tortellini likely was created in the image of a turtle, in keeping with the notable architectural turtle themes throughout Modena at the time. However, you can also choose to believe the more colorful legend, in which a Modena innkeeper, spying through a keyhole on the gods Venus and Jupiter (or, in some racy retellings, the historical femme fatale Lucrezia Borgia), glimpsed a bellybutton by candlelight and thus made tortellini pasta in tribute.
Though traditionally served in broth, try a flavorful pumpkin sauce with your tortellini. Pumpkin may generally be a sweeter ingredient, but the pumpkin puree here is simmered with white wine, garlic, sage, thyme and cream for a more savory flavor combination than the standard dessert format. Canned pumpkin is obviously faster, but you can also try making homemade puree by following these instructions.
Go outside the box by preparing an unusual fall recipe like this Spinach Tortellini in Pumpkin Sauce. And, of course, you can always sample this homemade sauce on other preferred pasta types as well — just be sure to share!
- 1 package spinach tortellini
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Parmesan, grated (optional)
In a large saute pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the minced garlic until fragrant. Add the water and white wine.
Carefully stir in the pumpkin puree; whisk until completely combined. Add sage, thyme, nutmeg, and one teaspoon of salt. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for twenty minutes before stirring the half and half into the pumpkin sauce. Continue to cook over low heat for another fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the tortellini according to package instructions. In a small pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add spinach to pan. Season with pepper and half a teaspoon of salt. Saute until wilted (approximately three minutes).
Next, combine the tortellini and spinach with the pumpkin sauce. Toss until pasta is coated with sauce. Serve warm. If desired, garnish with grated parmesan.