While The Greeks Celebrated Their Independence…

Tortellinis Filled With Roasted Acorn Squash & Portobello Mushrooms
(topped with fried garlic & walnuts in a butter & olive oil sauce)

*Recipe follows story

Sunday’s are for slowly sipping coffee, blanket forts, Charles Osgood, cooking while music is blasting, and a long, healthy walk or two.  

I woke up early to write.  Not to write for the blog, but for life outside of this space. The morning started out somewhat quiet, sun creeping through the blinds and warming my face.  I knew it was cold out, but I didn’t care, the sun went through my body as  I laid in bed, looked up at the ceiling, breathed deeply and smiled.  I looked to my left and stared at a photo of my brothers.  I miss them.  They’ve been on my mind. I talked about them a lot this week, my family in general, and I haven’t been able to turn off.

And, as happy as I was when I woke up, there was an air of sadness in my heart. I made a mental list, which is too long and boring to site here,  and I realized there was no use in over thinking anything.  

My focus for today was to use the acorn squash that was lying fallow in my empty fruit bowl; not to dwell on things I can’t change.  

I always let go when I’m cooking, but today I was completely in touch with everything around me.  I was hyper aware and in tune with all of my senses. Today everything was heightened. I concentrated on feeling the acorn squash between my palms as I tossed it in olive oil.  I took the time to hold the whole piece of nutmeg, smelling it as I grated it over the squash.  I cleaned the mushrooms under a light stream of cold running water, letting the water numb my hands and watching goosebumps appear down on my arm.  I tasted the shallots and garlic cooking in their butter bath, letting the oily mixture sit on my tongue and coat my mouth and lips before I swallowed.

In between roasting vegetables and tortellini making, I opened my front door, which leads right to the street.  I sat on my stoop and I stared at the small garden that occupies about 5 ft. of space in front of my apartment.  I imagined taking the small space and making it mine. I curled my legs up to my chest and let the sun swallow me while I laughed, cried, and related to the stories in Alone In The Kitchen With An Eggplant.  While reading, I recounted all of the reasons I love to cook.  I cook because I love to share.  I cook because it makes me feel less lonely.  I cook because ordering too much take out seems sad.  I cook because it makes me feel safe and accomplished. I cook because every meal shared is a new memory.  I don’t cook because sometimes I need a break and I’d rather eat peanut butter on an apple and concentrate on a subtitled movie.  Or sometimes I want popcorn, a handful of honey roasted peanuts and a glass of wine for dinner.

I made the tortellini and had two.  I packed the remainder into freezer bags, and I’ll wait to share them when the right time comes along.  
I wasn’t very hungry today anyway.

I took a long walk around the park, sat on a bench and deeply missed Josie and her pig noises.  
I closed the night with tea and toast and too much thinking.

Tortellinis Filled With Roasted Acorn Squash & Portobello Mushrooms
*makes 50 tortellini
*here’s a reference to Giada’s Roasted Butternut Squash Tortellini which is where the use of the wonton wrappers came from

1 medium acorn squash (peeled and cubed)
1 box baby portobello mushrooms (cleaned and cubed)
5 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
3 shallots (diced)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
3/4 c. ricotta
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 pack wonton wrappers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. warm water (to seal wontons closed)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Line 2 baking sheets with foil
-Toss each acorn squash and portobello mushrooms with 2 T. of olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg
-Spread acorn squash and portobello mushrooms, evenly, on separate pans
-Roast for 35 minutes and set aside
-Heat a small skillet and add remaining olive oil and butter, then add shallots and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes until fragrant
-By now, your vegetables should be cool, so in a food processor fit with a steel blade - pulse acorn squash until creamy then place in a large mixing bowl
-Chop portobello mushrooms, then add to acorn squash puree
-Add shallots and garlic to the mixing bowl, along with ricotta, cinnamon and salt/pepper if necessary
-Combine all ingredients, thoroughly, as this will serve as your tortellini filling 
-Remove 4 wonton wrappers from package and place on a clean work surface
-Scoop 1-2 tsp. of filling in the center of the wonton paper, then proceed to wet all edges with warm water, folding wrapper into a triangle
-Pick up each edge at the base of the triangle and pinch together, sealing with water  
-As each tortellini is made, place on a tray and cover with a tea towel
-Repeat process until all wrappers have been used, making sure to clean your work surface after every batch you make
*I take out 4 wonton wrappers at a time and cover the remainder in a sopping wet paper towel so they do not dry out, as this process is not difficult but time consuming 

Sauce & Cooking Tortellinis

1/4 c. olive oil
4 T. butter
8 cloves garlic (peeled & sliced thin)
1/4 c. toasted walnuts (chopped)
Parmigiano for grating/serving

-Heat olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat, and fry garlic until crispy - about 5-6 minutes and put aside
-Add butter and remove from heat, mixing butter into hot oil and allowing it to melt
-Bring water to a rolling boil, with 1 tsp. salt, and add tortellinis
-When tortellinis begin rising to the top of the water, they’re done (this should only take 2-3 minutes)
-Strain tortellini with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large serving bowl
-Drizzle fried garlic, olive oil and butter mixture over the top of the tortellini
-Finish with toasted walnuts and parmigiano
-Serve and nom

Sunday, March 27, 2011 — 6 notes   ()
  1. nomnomsforeveryone posted this