Pumpkin tortellini with chestnuts and a sage beurre noisette

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For this sumptuous pumpkin pasta dish from Stephen Crane, pumpkin, sage and chestnuts combine in a rich and buttery autumnal tortellini. This homemade tortellini recipe makes a comforting meal or a welcome starter for friends coming to dinner. To make this recipe vegetarian, omit the Parmesan and opt for a vegetarian substitute, like Old Winchester.

First published in 2015




Pasta dough

Roast pumpkin and pumpkin purée

To plate


  • Food processor or blender
  • Fine sieve
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Electric mixer
  • 7cm round cutter


To make the pasta, blitz the eggs and saffron in food processor until smooth. Sieve flour into the bowl of an electric mixer, then pass the egg mix through a sieve onto the flour, being careful to keep the egg from going around the side of the bowl
Mix on medium speed for 8 minutes, stopping half way to scrape the bowl. Turn out and gently knead to bring together. Wrap in cling film and store in the fridge overnight
For the roast pumpkin, first prepare the pumpkin. Peel, deseed and cut into a 1cm dice, keeping the off-cuts for the purée
Preheat oven to 200ºC/Gas mark 6. Place diced pumpkin in a tray with 25g butter, a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic clove, 3 sprigs of sage and then season with salt and sugar. Cover and roast for 15-20 minutes until tender. Remove to cool
For the purée, cook the remaining pumpkin offcuts in boiling salted water until tender for about 5 minutes. When soft, drain, reserve some of the cooking water and set aside
While the pumpkin is cooking, heat 50g butter with the remaining sage until it turns a nut-brown colour – immediately pass through a sieve into a cold pan to stop the cooking process and avoid burning
When the pumpkin is cooked, blitz in a blender on full power, add the sage beurre noisette and season. Pass the purée through a fine sieve and cool
Roll the pasta dough through a pasta machine, starting from the widest setting, and gradually going down the settings until the arrow is between 0 and 1. Repeat the rolling process on the last setting to ensure there is a consistent finish to the thickness of the dough. The pasta should be dry, but with no cracks and slightly elastic. Place 1 teaspoon of the diced pumpkin in the middle of the pasta sheets, 10cm apart. There should be some diced pumpkin leftover for the garnish
Cut the pasta out between the mounds of filling. Carefully fold the pasta over, corner-to-corner to seal the filling, pressing to remove any trapped air bubbles
Cut the triangles into semi circles with a 7cm round cutter. Brush one corner with beaten egg and seal to the other corner by wrapping around your little finger to create the classic tortellini shape
Dip in melted clarified butter and arrange on greaseproof paper until ready to serve
When ready, cook the tortellini in gently simmering water for 4 minutes
In a frying pan heat a little oil and fry the remaining roast pumpkin over a high heat, until just starting to colour. Add the butter and cook to a nice nut brown colour. Just before serving add the chestnuts, Parmesan and sage
Warm the purée and spoon a circle onto a warmed plate, top with tortellini, then the roast pumpkin, sage and chestnuts. Finish by topping with some pea shoots and a squeeze of lemon juice
First published in 2015

As head chef of the idyllic Ockenden Manor in the countryside of Sussex, chef Stephen Crane cooks refined, French-influenced food, and given his pedigree, that’s no great surprise.

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