“Ravioli alla Zucca” are a classic of the traditional Italian cuisine. My grandma used to make them from scratch for Christmas or other major holidays; here in Albany I missed them so much that I made them myself. They were almost as perfect as my grandma’s. They taste like home.
Ingredients for the pasta, also called “sfoglia”
– 1 large egg each 100g (3.5 oz) of “00” flour (or all purpose flour if you can’t find the “00”). The eggs need to be at room temperature.
This is all you need to make the sfoglia. You can also use this very same recipe to make dishes like lasagne, tortelloni, cannelloni, maltagliati, tagliatelle, tortellini (https://laurina86.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/omaggio-a-modena-1-0-tribute-to-modena-1-0/) and many more.
Ingredients for the filling
– pumpkin (or butternut squash)
– black pepper
– Parmigiano cheese
– bread crumbs (optional)
– lemon zest (preferably organic)
– salt, pepper, EVO oil, and nutmeg powder
Boil or bake the pumpkin; once soft enough, let it cool down completely, add the Parmigiano, the nutmeg, the salt and the pepper and mix well with the help of a fork. Quantities are totally up to your taste, but be careful not to add too much nutmeg because it has a very strong taste and it can cover the taste of the. Suggestion: try the pumpkin mix while you make it to adjust the taste.
How to make a great pumpkin pasta for the ravioli? First, the surface. Choose a smooth one. The best to use is a wooden one, the one that the Italian “rezdore” (women who are considered the guru of the hand made pasta) use, but if you don’t have one, just make sure that you pick a plain and smooth surface. Place the flour on the table and with the tip of your finger create a sort of “volcano crater”, and add the eggs.
If you are a beginner, I suggest you start slowly mixing the eggs with a fork. Gradually mix the flour and eggs taking the flour from the crater borders but without breaking them so the eggs do not go out. Once you see that your dough is forming, you can start using your hands to work it. Work the dough gently until you have evenly combined the 2 ingredients. Suggestion for beginners: If it is your first time, you may feel more comfortable using a large and shallow bowl to mix the ingredients. Always keep some extra flour in case the dough sticks to the surface. You should obtain this:
It should be about 1 – 2mm thick, but you can make it thinner. The most important thing is that the pasta has to be elastic, so it will not break when you make the ravioli. With the help of a glass, cut some rounds that you are going to fill with the pumpkin mix. Place some of the mix in he middle of the circle. Wet one finger and pass the water on the edge of the raviolo; this will help the pasta to stick together, then close them to form a “half moon” and seal them with the help of a fork. You should obtain this
Put the ravioli in salted boiling water and you will know that they are cooked once they will come up to the surface’ it usually does not take longer than 5 minutes, but if the pasta is a bit thicker, it may take a bit longer. Here you go!