Day 5: The Perfect Fall Pasta Dish

September 23, 2011 | By | Comments (14)

Today’s recipe, Tortellini with Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, and Fontina, was prepared by Kristin Appenbrink,’s associate editor.

Like Elinor (and many of our other contributors this month), this is my second go-round on the Month of Dinners blog. Last year I made, Mushroom and Herb Strata, which was absolutely delicious. But this year I decided to go with a pasta dish. Being a vegetarian, pasta is a staple in my diet, so Tortellini with Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, and Fontina was at the top of my list of recipes to cook. Here’s how it went:

Ingredients for Tortellini dinner

First up: cutting up all the veggies. I’m a huge fan of cremini mushrooms (being a late-in-life mushroom convert), they are a bit more adventurous than white button mushrooms, but not too fungus-y.

Halved Mushrooms

After the mushrooms, came butternut squash. I have to admit, I’d never peeled a butternut squash before preparing this recipe. I grew up eating baked squash with the skin still on. Scraping out the seeds really made it feel like fall, and made me think of carving pumpkins. Too bad there’s a pumpkin shortage in the Northeast.

Butternut Squash

After chopping up all the vegetables, and washing the fresh sage leaves (I had no idea sage was fuzzy!), I tossed it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and put it in the oven to roast. Here are the before roasting and after roasting shots:

Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, and Sage to Roast

Roasted Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, and Sage

The last part was easy, preparing tortellini according to the package directions, and then tossing everything together with the pasta water and fontina cheese. I will caution that the cheese does get very melty. I would recommend adding the fontina in gradually so it doesn’t clump. And of course, then you sprinkle a bit more on top for the final dish.

Tortellini with Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, and Fontina

I will definitely be making this dish, or some variation of it (we currently have acorn squash from our CSA to use up), again soon. And because I had sage left over, I made a variation of this brown butter sage sauce over orecchiette last night. If you make either of these recipes, I’d love to know what you think of them!

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