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Monday 16th October 2006

Spinach and Cheese filled Pumpkin Tortelloni with a Blueberry, Orange and Pinot Noir Sauce

When Owen of Tomatilla announced the ingredients for this I had to giggle a little, I nominated spinach as a bit of a joke, knowing full well the crisis and spinach shortage in the States. Naughty eh!

Spinach and Cheese filled Pumpkin Tortelloni with a Blueberry, Orange and Pinot Noir Sauce

However in my defence, I didn’t really expect it to make the final list!

  • Barberries
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Slow

The list had me stumped momentarily, firstly I had know idea what barberries were, so I was a little relieved when Owen suggested they would be hard to locate for most people and he would accept any berries.
Also how was I to combine the 3 ingredients in a most delicious way, not to mention give them a slow theme. With berries and spinach at least, I always find less is more, less cooking, less fuss.

Anyway after quite the brainstorm I came up with the following…

Barberries were to be substituted with the more familiar berry beginning with B - Blueberries.
Pumpkins are getting on at this time of year downunder, however I steamed a couple of small pieces, and blended them to a firm puree.
Spinach was great, there’s plenty of beautiful young spring tender leaves to be had.
Finally fresh homemade pasta made from some of the pumpkin puree, and shaping the individual tortelloni was to be my take to the ’slow’ element.

I think with the unsual combination of flavours and ‘fiddliness’ of shaping the tortelloni, my dish would be best suited to the “Paper Chef Haute” category, although arguably could fit both Home and Haute.

Spinach and Cheese filled Pumpkin Tortelloni with a Blueberry, Orange and Pinot Noir Sauce

Spinach and Cheese filled Pumpkin Tortelloni with a Blueberry, Orange and Pinot Noir Sauce

  • Fresh Pumpkin Pasta
  • 300 grams of strong / pasta flour
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg yolk (keep the egg white for sealing the tortelloni later)
  • 1 tablespooon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  1. Put the flour, pumpkin, salt, nutmeg, olive oil and 1 egg yolk into a large bowl or food processor.
  2. Mix or process the mixture together, adding enough of the whole beaten egg as necessary to form a ball.
  3. Kneed the dough until smooth and elastic.
  4. Cover and rest the dough for one hour.
  5. (The pasta dough can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight if necessary.)

Spinach and Cheese filled Pumpkin Tortelloni

  • Spinach and Cheese Filling
  • 3/4 cup of finely chopped fresh spinach leaves
  • 200 grams of fresh soft cheese, ricotta, cream cheese, mascarpone or similar (I used a soft goat cheese)
  • salt and pepper
    Mix together to form a firm paste.

Spinach and Cheese filled Pumpkin Tortelloni with a Blueberry, Orange and Pinot Noir Sauce

  • Blueberry, Orange and Pinot Noir Sauce
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup of red wine, i.e Pinot Noir!
  • 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice, approximately
  • zest of an orange
  • salt and pepper
  • sugar to taste (optional!)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little water (if required!)
  1. In a small saucepan heat the blueberries and wine together.
  2. Mush a few of the berries to form a well textured sauce and add the orange juice and zest.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and taste.
  4. Add salt, pepper and sugar if desired.
  5. If necessary thicken the sauce with cornflour and water, and bring to the boil for one minute then set aside.

Spinach and Cheese filled Pumpkin Tortelloni

  • Assembly
  • Extra strong or pasta flour
  • Remaining egg white
  1. Divide the pumpkin pasta dough into four pieces.
  2. Dust each piece with a little extra flour to keep from sticking and using a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll the dough out very thin.
  3. (On my “Atlas” pasta machine I go to the 6th setting.)
  4. Place the four sheets on a lightly floured surface.
  5. Use a pastry cutter to cut the sheets into circles, 10cm in diameter.
  6. Place a tablespoon of the Spinach and Cheese filling in center of each circle.
  7. Brush the edges lightly with a little egg white.
  8. Fold in half and seal, trying to avoid having any air inside.
  9. Pull the two points together, sealing again with a little egg white.
  10. Dust the finish tortelloni with more extra flour, cover and set aside until ready to serve.
  11. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, salt.
  12. Brush off any excess flour from the tortelloni with a dry brush.
  13. Cook the tortelloni in rapid boiling water for 4-5 minutes and then remove each with a slotted spoon to drain.
  14. Nappe over a little of the warm Blueberry, Orange and Pinot Noir Sauce and serve.
  15. Serves 4 to 6

Spinach and Cheese filled Pumpkin Tortelloni with a Blueberry, Orange and Pinot Noir Sauce


Update: Columbus Foodie raised a very good question, which I neglected to answer!
“How did it taste?”

In the words of my hubby J “I thought they were awesome, unusual, but in a very good way.”


  1. Absolutely stunning! What a unique and interesting way to combine these flavours - the end result looks absolutely mouth watering!

    Ellie — Monday 16th October 2006 10:51 am

  2. Lovely, as always, Bron … definitely ‘haute’ however!

    Alanna — Monday 16th October 2006 11:05 am

  3. Beautiful pictures - the colors are stunning…but you didn’t answer the most important question - how did it taste??

    Columbus Foodie — Monday 16th October 2006 7:10 pm

  4. Tee hee - spinach! Very naughy! This looks amazing - beautiful tortelloni.

    Emma — Monday 16th October 2006 9:29 pm

  5. Thanks Ellie, they were surprisingly delicious.

    Thank you Alanna, “haute” it is then.

    Hi Columbus foodie, very good point, I shall rectify that and update my post.
    Thanks for your comments.

    Thanks Emma, I couldn’t resist being naughty!

    bron — Monday 16th October 2006 11:35 pm

  6. Beautiful and so creative!

    Jeff — Tuesday 17th October 2006 1:30 am

  7. Wow, excellent use of the varied ingredeints to come up with something wonderful!

    Brilynn — Tuesday 17th October 2006 5:37 am

  8. Boy you have been busy Bron. Everything looks great - tortellini, fritters and bread.

    barbara — Tuesday 17th October 2006 8:19 am

  9. Thank you Jeff!

    Hi Brilynn, thank you

    Thank you Barbara, yes I’ve been a bit busy, lots of midnight oil that’s for sure, must try for an earlier night tonight!!

    bron — Wednesday 18th October 2006 1:20 pm

  10. One word… beautiful!!

    Bruno — Thursday 19th October 2006 4:16 am

  11. Paper Chef 22 Winner has been announced. Congratulations on a superb presentation and absolutely delicious-looking diah! My husband, who is mostly a meat and potatoes kind of guy, thought it looked good enough for me to try. Thanks for the idea.

    Carolyn — Monday 23rd October 2006 4:08 pm

  12. Congrats to you Bron! A winning dish, indeed!

    Emma — Monday 23rd October 2006 4:28 pm

  13. Yes, one word…BEAUTIFUL.
    The winner, handsdown.
    If it tastes even half as good as it looks…I have to make this.

    Anita — Tuesday 24th October 2006 4:40 am

  14. Hi Bron,
    When I read the PC round-up, I was sure yours was the winner. Even with such an interesting array of ingredients, you still managed to make something I might actually like to have for dinner…plus, it’s gorgeous. Congratulations!!

    Jennifer — Tuesday 24th October 2006 11:25 am

  15. Your tortellonis look gorgeous, and I’m sure that sauce was magnificent. Congrats on your inspiring Paper Chef win!

    Tricia — Wednesday 25th October 2006 3:56 am

  16. Thank you!

    bron — Friday 27th October 2006 12:08 pm

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