The Pumpkin Ravioli, “Ravioli di Zucca” in Italian, are originally from the Lombardia region and precisely the town of Mantova. The dish appears to date to the 1500’s and came back to fame recently. Zucca is the Italian terms for squash and Italian “zucche” are a sort of gigantic yellow zucchini. The (limited) introduction in Italy of the American squash has given also new life to this recipe.
The taste of the dish is sweet and not everyone likes it. The dish is common all around the region with many variations. The filling is made of squash cooked and pureed, nutmeg, ground amaretti cookies, and grated Grana Padano cheese. In Mantova the filling is added of the famous Mostarda, a local sweet-sour fruit preserve. The shapes also are different from square to round to half-moons, and sometimes even in the form of large ‘tortelli’. The most common topping is with butter and Grana Padano grated cheese.
for the filling
2 lb (900 gr) butternut squash, diced
2 oz (60 gr) amaretti cookies, finely ground
4 oz (115 gr) parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoons breadcrumbs
grated rind of one lemon
salt and pepper
pinch of nutmeg
for the dough
recipe for fresh pasta at this link
3 cups (400 gr) flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
for the dressing
8 tablespoons butter
10 fresh sage leaves
5 oz (150 gr) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Preheat oven 350 F (180 C). Place the diced squash on a sheet of parchment paper.
Wrap the paper around the squash and place in the oven for about 40 minutes or until tender. Squash can be cooked in the microwave for about 7-8 minutes.
Transfer the squash in a colander and drain the liquid. Place the squash in a food processor and run the blade until is reduced to a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the parmigiano cheese .
. the ground cookies, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper ...
grated lemon rind .
and pinch of nutmeg.
Prepare the pasta dough using the recipe for fresh pasta. Make the dough very soft and moist. Use the minimum flour necessary, just enough to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands while working.
Cut the dough in two parts. Place one of the pieces on the work surface, and flatten it with a rolling pin until it is very thin.
Repeat the same steps with the other half of the dough, making a pasta sheet of the same size. Set it aside, covered with a moist towel if necessary to prevent the pasta from drying too much.
Drain the filling ingredients very well to prevent the ravioli from breaking while boiling. If you like the stuffing to be aromatic, add more freshly grated nutmeg.
Sometimes the dough will dry too much while you are working, which prevents the pasta sheets from being “gluey” enough to stick to each other. If this happens, brush the surface of the bottom pasta sheet with egg white.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling on the dough, spaced 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Cover with the second dough and press the pasta around the fillings so that the 2 layers touch each other. Press firmly to bond the 2 pasta sheets together.
Separate the ravioli by cutting with a pastry wheel.
Transfer the ravioli to a tray lined with kitchen paper towels.
In a skillet or saute’ pan, place the butter and sage. Turn the heat to medium until the butter melts.
Bring water to a boil in a stockpot. Gently drop the ravioli in the boiling water a few at a time, and cook until the pasta is al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked).
Drain ravioli, picking them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon or strainer.
Transfer the ravioli to a bowl. Top them with the melted butter and toss gently until they are well coated. Add the grated cheese and serve at once on warm dishes.