I love the earthy-sweet flavors of fall and try to incorporate these rich flavors into most of my Autumn cooking. Apples, Pumpkin, and winter squash make great desserts, but did you know you can also blend the flavors of fall into delicious and easy dinner entrees as well, such as this Cheese Tortellini with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce, using just a few ingredients?
If you think pumpkin is just for dessert, think again. This dish was rich and creamy, yet the pumpkin flavor was subtle, not overpowering. The addition of Parmesan cheese and sun dried tomatoes really take this dish to new heights, but if you don’t like sun dried tomatoes, please use the Parmesan.
Cheese Tortellini with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce
- 3 Tbsp. Butter
- 1/2 medium Onion, sliced thin
- 2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 4-5 leaves Fresh Sage, washed
- 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 c. Apple Juice
- 1 c. Vegetable Stock
- 1 1/2 c. Pureed Pumpkin
- 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (You can exclude this if you would like)
- 1 c. Heavy Cream
- 1/2 c. Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 3 Tbsp. Sun Dried Tomatoes,thinly julienned
- 1 Package Frozen Cheese Tortellini
Place the butter in a large stock pot and add the onions and garlic. Heat on medium high and stir occasionally so it does not stick. Cook 4-5 minutes, until the onion is opaque. Snip the sage into thin strips with a pair of kitchen shears and add to the onions and garlic. Saute on medium high for about a minute to sear the sage pieces, then turn back down to medium. This releases the oils in the leaves.
Add the brown sugar, and let the onion etc. caramelize for about 5-7 minutes. In another large stock pot, heat water to boiling, and cook the tortellini according to package directions. When the tortellini is finished, drain and set aside.
Add the apple juice and vegetable stock to the onion mixture and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and whisk until it is blended. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes to let the flavors combine. Add the nutmeg and cayenne pepper and simmer for 1-2 minutes more. Whisk in the heavy cream, and simmer for about 3 minutes. The sauce should be thick, but have an easy to ladle consistency. If the sauce gets too thick, add another 1-2 Tbsp of vegetable stock. Add the Parmesan cheese and sun dried tomatoes, stir well, and spoon the sauce over the cooked tortellini. Sprinkle with a touch of nutmeg, and if you have fresh roasted pumpkin seeds in the house, sprinkle a few of those over the pasta for a nice crunch.