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For the love of autumn {Tortellini with squash + Romaine pomegranate salad}

It’s been a very glorious fall here in NYC: sunny days, slight crispness in the air, blue skies, white fluffy clouds, cozy evenings—pure gorgeousness.

It’s my favorite time of year to do simple things that make me happy: stroll around New York with my daughter, sit in a cafe and sip coffee or tea, and pick up goodies at market and specialty food shops.

Which is how dinner came to be last night.

I’d bought:

  • squash and sage at the Union Square Greenmarket
  • Middlebury Blue Cheese from Blue Ledge Farm in Middlebury, VT at Murray’s Cheese
  • pomegranates from Fairway
  • and tortellini made that day at Eataly

I’m a sucker for great ingredients and if you’re ever coming to NYC, I compiled my favorite food stores in this app: NYC iFoodShop.

These, combined with only a few extra ingredients, turned into a colorful and satisfying dinner—I love the combination of the earthy blue with the crunch of the romaine and pomegranate seeds that pop open like candy. This meal complements this time of year, when the warmth of summer is only slightly behind us and the coldness still seems far ahead. Yet, I know how time progresses so quickly and soon it will be winter. For now I am living in the moments of this season—and cooking with seasonal ingredients grounds me in the here and now.

Enjoy, with one of my favorite Billie Holiday songs: Autumn in New York.

Romaine salad with pomegranate vinaigrette


  • 2 pomegranates
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • 2 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1/2lb blue cheese


In a food processor whip the the seeds from 1 pomegranate plus the oil, vinegar, pepper and garlic. Then strain.
Chop the lettuce, then mix with the vinaigrette. Add seeds from remaining pomegranate. Top with crumbled blue cheese.

Tortellini with roasted butternut squash + fried sage


  • 1 butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly-ground pepper
  • 10-12 sage leaves
  • 1lb tortellini (your choice, I've used pumpkin in this recipe)
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable or chicken stock
  • Parmesan (to taste)


Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the squash with the onion and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil then sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until caramelized.

Cook the tortellini until al dente.

Heat about 1/2 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the sage leaves until the oil stops sizzling and the edges are crisp. Drain on a paper towel.

Add the squash mixture and tortellini to a skillet. Add the stock. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and toss with Parmesan. Garnish with fried sage.

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20 Responses to For the love of autumn {Tortellini with squash + Romaine pomegranate salad}

  1. Shanna October 5, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    You are killing me, Tracey! Two of my fave ingredients in one fabulous post! And I can easily vegan-ize these–keep the yummy stuff flowing! :)
    Shanna recently posted…Join me on Radio Enso!My Profile

  2. Belinda Rose October 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    Oooooh Tracey, this looks so delicious! :) Would so love to come over for dinner…you cook! LOL! Seriously, you have some fabulous recipes and ideas for some really scrumptious meals!XO
    Belinda Rose recently posted…Celebrate You!My Profile

  3. Christine October 5, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    That was just mouthwatering! Thanks for posting, it looks delicious :-)
    Christine recently posted…Cooking in BeijingMy Profile

  4. Sue Ann Gleason October 6, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Where was this recipe when I had sage overflowing in my garden and no idea what to do with it? LOL I have a pomegranate in the fridge. I know what I’m making for dinner tonight. Yum!
    Sue Ann Gleason recently posted…How to Survive a MANcoldMy Profile

  5. Jacqueline Fairbrass October 6, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Awesome! Love these ingredients and can’t wait to enjoy your recipes.

    And sharing with my daughters, who also love to cook.

    Keep ‘em coming…love the inspiration.
    Jacqueline Fairbrass recently posted…What on Earth are You Eating?My Profile

  6. eyenie October 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Boy howdy, I majorly heart pumpkin, butternut squash and blue cheese! You’ve done it again…got me day-dreaming about a meal! HA! Thank you for more delicious inspiration, Tracey! Always such a pleasure to read and imagine…And it makes me miss my years in New York in the Fall :)
    eyenie recently posted…Human Hall Passes, Adornment & Sporadic Happy Dances: Women Living in NEON Interview with Joy Junkie Amy E. Smith!My Profile

  7. Inga Deksne October 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    I look forward to each of your posts Tracey, you’ve made New York officially a city of my dreams.

    I’ve never tried blue cheese though, other than that I am really tempted to try that salad.
    Inga Deksne recently posted…Goal accomplishing technique – the power of writingMy Profile

  8. Minling October 7, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Oh my…my mouth is watering just reading these recipes! I love pomegranates and that dressing sounds absolutely amazing! Everything sounds so light and healthy! I can’t wait to try and make these myself!

  9. Kathleen Prophet October 7, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    Oooooo yummmmmmmmmm, Tracey! Pomegranates are my favorite! I am making this salad tomorrow night with the ones I have in my kitchen.

    I do have to say, that my favorite part of your posts are those which include your daughter. I can only imagine the lusciousness your daughter is growing up with being in your kitchen and out in the markets. LOVE!
    Kathleen Prophet recently posted…Lilith ☽ – Virgo’s Dark Sister ♍My Profile

  10. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Aren’t pomegranates wonderful??
    I’m happy to hear that you enjoy when I include my daughter. Now that she’s in school she’s not on all the adventures, but we still have time to cook and such on the weekends. Thank you!

  11. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    The dressing is amazing! I hope you get a chance to make it.

  12. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    I hope you come to visit someday. If so we’ll have to get together.

  13. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Don’t you just love pumpkin, squash and blue cheese? I’m glad I inspired you to daydream!

  14. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Thank you for sharing with your daughters. It means a lot!

  15. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    I hope to visit your garden someday. How I’d love to have sage overflowing!

  16. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  17. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    I would love to have you over for dinner. If you ever find yourself in NYC, you have an open invitation.

  18. Tracey Ceurvels October 7, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Yes, you can easily vegan-ize these!

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