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Butternut Squash Cappelletti Pasta with Sage Butter Sauce

Butternut Squash Cappelletti Pasta with sage butter sauce on a white plate.
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Butternut squash and nutmeg is a match made in heaven! Add a sage butter sauce and you have a combination second to none. Make a big batch of this filling vegetarian filled pasta dish and freeze our Butternut Squash Cappelletti Pasta to enjoy later when you’re short on time!

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Our Love For Filled Pasta

Seb and I both have a long-standing love for filled pasta. I personally can never resist trying a new filling. If I ever order a pasta dish at a restaurant it’s when it is a filled pasta dish. Seb, on the other hand, has nostalgia thinking about his university years when a shop-bought tortelloni was a weekly dish on his dinner table. As a matter of fact, he still calls all filled pasta ‘tortelloni’ no matter what shape it is 🙂

Cappelletti on a large teal-coloured plate.

What is Cappelletti Pasta?

Similar in shape to tortelloni, Cappelletti means ‘small hats’ in Italian. After you’ve added your filling, simply fold it to form a semi-circle and bring the bottom corners together. The signature move in shaping the cappelletti is folding down the brim of each hat. These are traditionally filled with meat and served in poultry broth, but in the modern days, they are increasingly made with vegetarian fillings.

What Is The Difference Between Cappelletti and Tortellini?

The main difference between the two Italian-filled pasta types is the shape. Tortellini are made with a square sheet of thinly rolled dough, creating a pointy top. Cappelletti are made with a circle of dough. The rounded top is folded down to create a shape similar to a rolled brim hat!

Cappelletti and tortellini side by side on a floured surface.

Why You Will Love Butternut Squash Cappelletti Pasta?

One of our favourite filled pasta to make is the butternut squash cappelletti. Why?

  • First, we think it’s absolutely ridiculously delicious. We love the combination of squash and nutmeg!
  • Secondly, this recipe for cappelletti is easily adaptable if you’re cooking for someone with lactose intolerance. Simply skip the parmesan or use a lactose-free parmesan.
  • If you’re cooking for vegans, you can make a Pasta Bianca dough (no eggs) – more on the different doughs here. The dough is not as strong, but if you’re careful shaping your cappelletti and boil your filled pasta gently, you won’t have any issues. For the sauce, we’d recommend simply using a dairy-free spread instead of butter.
A bunch of shaped Butternut Squash Cappelletti on a floured surface.

Step-by-Step Butternut Squash Cappelletti Recipe

STEP 1: Make Pasta Dough

Place the 00 flour onto a kitchen surface and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into it and gradually mix it in with your hands. Knead the dough until the dough is soft, elastic and pliable. This will take about 10 minutes. If your dough is too dry, add a tbsp of water. If it’s too wet and sticky, add a bit of flour.

Wrap a ball of dough in clingfilm and leave the pasta to rest for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.

Divide the pasta dough into four. Using a pasta machine (we love Marcato Atlas), one piece at a time (keeping other pieces wrapped to avoid drying out) roll out the pasta into a long thin strip about 1mm in thickness. Cut the strip in half to make it more manageable.

Rolling the pasta dough using an Atlas pasta machine.

STEP 2: Make the Cappelletti Filling

Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Spread the butternut squash cubes in a single layer on a large baking tray, drizzle with a tbsp of olive oil and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for approx 30 minutes, until tender and just starting to brown.

In the meantime, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the chopped red onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until just softened.

Once the butternut is cooked, you can mash it into a smooth paste with a fork. Then add the onions, nutmeg, parmesan and some seasoning and mix to combine. Alternatively, place all ingredients into a food processor (we love Kenwood) and whizz to a paste. This is the filling for your Butternut Squash Cappelletti Pasta.

STEP 3: Fill, Shape & Cook Vegetarian Filled Pasta

Now… how to make Cappelletti? Using a cookie cutter, a pastry ring, a glass or a round bowl, cut rounds of thinly rolled dough. We used a 7.6cm pastry ring. Spray them with a bit of water to keep them moist and help with sealing. I use a travel-size atomiser for that.

Add a teaspoon of butternut squash cappelletti filling onto each circle of pasta dough. Then fold it over to create a half-circle and press down to get rid of any air pockets and seal.

Draw the two bottom corners of the half-circle together and press them together. Lastly, fold down the brim of the rounded top.

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop the Cappelletti pasta into the pan. Shake the pan by the handles gently to ensure your pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom or each other. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

STEP 4: Make the Sage Butter Sauce

In a small saucepan or a frying pan, melt the butter. Add the thinly sliced sage leaves and salt. Cook on very low heat for 1-2 minutes to infuse the butter. This simple mixture makes a perfect Cappelletti pasta sauce. If you’d like to make crispy fried sage leaves, see the notes below: they are perfect for garnish!

(Optional) Crispy Fried Sage for Garnish

To make crispy fried sage, heat half a centimetre of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium to high heat. When hot, add the whole sage leaves and fry for approx. 15 seconds. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon. Place the fried sage leaves on a piece of paper towel to cool down. 

Crispy Fried Sage.

Recipe FAQs

What Flour is Best To Use For Making Pasta?

We recommend using 00 type flour or fine semolina flour. These have higher gluten content and make a sturdier dough that will be less likely to burst once filled and boiled. Alternatively, use strong bread flour! You can learn more about different pasta doughs here.

What Other Cappelletti Pasta Sauce To Make If I Don’t Like Sage?

Butternut squash and nutmeg Cappelletti go beautifully with lemon butter or simply a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt flakes.

Can I Freeze Butternut Cappelletti Pasta?

Yes, absolutely! First, arrange your filled pasta in a single layer on large floured trays. Place the trays in the freezer for 3-4 hours until they are fully frozen. Then take them out and transfer them to (reusable) zip-lock bags or freezer-friendly boxes to save space. How long you can keep them in the freezer depends largely on the filling, but you are best to eat them within 2-3 months from freezing.

Don’t defrost before cooking them. Simply drop them in boiling salted water and cook for a minute longer than you would with freshly made pasta.

What To Serve With Cappelletti?

This vegetarian filled pasta is perfect served with a sauce as a starter or a main course, but if you fancy adding something else to the dish, serve Cappelletti pasta with:

Learn More About Homemade Pasta

If you’d like to learn more about making pasta at home, we have two informative articles here for you:

More Filled Pasta Recipes

Did you enjoy our recipe for Cappelletti pasta? Let us know in the comments below. But if you’d like to find another homemade pasta recipe straight away, here are our best suggestions:

Recipe Card

Butternut Squash Cappelletti Pasta with sage butter sauce on a white plate.

Butternut Squash Cappelletti Pasta with Sage Butter Sauce

Butternut squash and nutmeg is a match made in heaven. Add a sage-infused butter sauce and you have a combination second to none. Make a big batch of this filling vegetarian filled pasta dish and freeze our Butternut Squash Cappelletti to enjoy later when you're short on time!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Resting Time: 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 portions
Calories 623 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

For the Pasta Dough:

  • 200 g 00 flour plus extra for dusting
  • 2 eggs medium

For the Filling:

  • 300 g butternut squash peeled, de-seeded, chopped into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • 20 g parmesan finely grated
  • ¼ ground nutmeg

For Sage Butter:

  • 50 g butter
  • 3 sage leaves
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions
 

To Make Pasta Dough:

  • Place the flour onto a kitchen surface and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into it and gradually mix with your hands. Knead the dough until the dough is soft, elastic and pliable. This will take about 10 minutes. If your dough is too dry, add a tbsp of water. If it's too wet and sticky, add a bit of flour.
  • Wrap a ball of dough in clingfilm and leave the pasta to rest for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
  • Divide the pasta dough into four. One piece at a time (keeping other pieces wrapped to avoid drying out) roll out the pasta into a long thin strip about 1mm in thickness, Cut the strip in half to make it more manageable.

Make the Filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Spread the butternut squash cubes in a single layer on a large baking tray, drizzle with a tbsp of olive oil and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for approx 30 minutes, until tender and just starting to brown.
  • In the meantime, heat a tbsp of olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the chopped red onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until just softened.
  • Once the butternut is cooked, you can mash it into a smooth paste with a fork. Then add the onions, nutmeg, parmesan and some seasoning and mix to combine. Alternatively, place all ingredinets inti a food processor and pulse to a paste.

Fill, Shape & Cook the Pasta:

  • Using a cookie cutter, a pastry ring, a glass or a round bowl, cut rounds of thinly rolled dough. Spray them with a bit of water to keep moist and help with sealing.
  • Add a teaspoon of butternut squash filling onto each circle of pasta dough. Then fold it over to create a half-cricle and press down to get rid of any air pockets and seal.
  • Draw the two bottom corners of the half-circle together and press them together. Lastly, fold down the brim of the rounded top.
  • Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Carefully drop the cappalletti into the pan. Shake the pan by the handles gently to ensure your pasta don't stick to the bottom or each orther. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Make the Sage Butter:

  • In a small saucepan or a frying pan, melt the butter. Add the thinly sliced sage leaves and salt. Cook on very low heat for 1-2 minuutesto infuse the butter. If you;d like to make crispy fried sage leaves, see notes below.

Notes

To make crispy fried sage, heat half a centimetre of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium to high heat. when hot, add the whole sage leaves and fry for approx. 15 seconds. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon. Place the fried sage leaves on a piece of paper towel to cool down. 

Nutrition

Calories: 623kcalCarbohydrates: 98gProtein: 22gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 549mgPotassium: 780mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 16303IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 266mgIron: 7mg
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