Autumn has finally arrived marking the end of a wet and cold summer.
The leaves turning red, the smell of wood burning and the slight chill in the air during my Sunday walk in the countryside brought an inner nostalgia of my childhood in Italy, this time of year seasonal produce and homemade pasta was a staple diet in my family especially when visiting Nonna on the weekends.
Ravioli with a pumpkin filling is a recipe inspired from my past and marks then start of autumn, however I do recommend doing this recipe on a lazy Sunday, as it is time consuming and shouldn’t be rushed. NOTE: I didn’t use a pasta machine, everything is done with a rolling pin hence the long process but it is worth it.
Pre-heat oven to 180c
4 medium eggs
400g plain flour
2tbs of breadcrumbs
2tbs parmesan cheese
200g salted butter
½ tsp of nutmeg
2 pinches of dry sage or fresh sage leafs
Pinch of salt and pepper.
Remove the seeds and skin from the pumpkin and dice into small squares. Place on baking tray lined with tin foil and cover to resemble a parcel. Place in pre-heated oven for 1 hour.
In the meantime prepare the ravioli, on a surface place flour and make a well, add the eggs and a pinch of salt, with a fork slowly mix and incorporated the flour with the eggs, when the mixture is fully combined you can use your hand and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is soft ( if the mixture seems too dry, you can add some water). Once kneaded wrap in cling film and leave it to rest for 30 minutes.
The pumpkin should feel soft by now, take them out of the oven, unwrap the foil and leave to cool, once cooled place in a bowl and use a potato masher and mash the pumpkin (it may be a bit watery, so strain the mashed pulp and then place in a bowl). Add finely crushed amaretti, 2tbs of breadcrumbs, 2 tbs of parmesan cheese, ½ tsp of nutmeg and season with salt and pepper, mix.
Now for the pasta, on a floured surface roll with a rolling pin the dough (if you don’t have enough table space you can cut the dough in half and work in batches). You should aim to get the dough as thin as possible almost like a sheet of paper. With a cookie cutter mark the sheet of pasta on one side because you will need the other side to fold, then with a tsp scoop the mixture and place on each marked dough. (See picture 3)
Fold the other side of the pasta onto the marked dough and mixture covering everything ( as if making a pie). Then with the cookie stamp cut each individual parcels and seal with a fork all the edges so the mixture will not leak.
Boil a pan with salted water and drop the ravioli in, time should be between 6 to 8 minutes depending how al dente you like your pasta, drain the pasta and plate up, in a separate pan place the salted butter and dry sage and heat gently pour over pasta and season with parmesan cheese .