Wow, I cannot believe how much time has gone by between this post and my last. I signed a lease for a new apartment a couple days ago, and  hope to be cooking much more frequently soon! I whipped up this sauce today using just a few ingredients. Unfortunately I did not make the tortelloni from scratch, but I did find some pretty tasty ricotta and spinach tortelloni on sale at the grocery store. I have been cooking with smoked sea salt lately as well. It adds a bit of heartiness without adding too many calories (a good substitute for bacon, or liquid smoke).

I chopped about a cup of butternut squash into 1″cubes, and peeled a few cloves of garlic, then threw them into a pot of boiling water with about a teaspoon of the smoked sea salt. After about 8 minutes I added a cup of fresh spinach, and a 1/2 cup of fresh basil. I let this continue to boil for about three minutes.

I drained these cooked ingredients well and then blended them with a 1/2 cup of milk (I used non fat, but anything from non fat, to heavy cream would be just fine).

While I was doing this I had another pot of boiling water ready for the tortelloni. I cooked them for about 10 minutes and then drizzled olive oil and a few shakes of crushed red pepper on them just after they were drained.

Then I poured the sauce (which was still fairly hot, but feel free to heat it if you prefer) into a pasta bowl and poured the tortelloni in the middle. I sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on top and garnished it with a sprig of fresh basil.

The sauce was creamy with a very fresh flavor from the basil and spinach. The tortelloni had just a hint of spice to them from the crushed red pepper. It was a nice pairing, but this sauce would be great on anything from pasta, to chicken, to bread. Add a little chicken stock and you could probably make yourself a nice soup!

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