This unique pasta dish is from Mantova and is considered to be the symbol of Mantuan cuisine. It combines sweet and savory flavors to bring a fresh taste of Italy to your kitchen.
Pumpkin Filled Pasta
- 2 cups flour + flour for rolling out the dough
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 15 ounce can puréed pumpkin (be sure it's not sweetened)
- 8 Amaretti cookies
- 1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 4 Tbs butter, unsalted
- 5 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
- Pour the flour onto a flat cool work surface, preferably marble, into a well shape (a fontana).
- Break the eggs into the center of the well.
- With your fingers or a fork, gently mix in the eggs with the flour.
- When all the egg has been absorbed into the flour, knead the dough until it is firm and tiny bubbles appear on the surface (10-15 minutes).
- Form a ball with the dough and cut in two.
- Flatten the first half slightly with the palm of your hand.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a thin even sheet, working slowly and rhythmically until the dough is almost paper thin (think postcard thickness).
- Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes (this allows the gluten to relax).
- Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Crush the amaretti cookies. You can do this in a food processor or place them in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Pour the amaretti crumbs in a bowl and add the pumpkin, egg, and Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix well until completely blended.
- Cut the sheets in 8" by 4" pieces, and place on a clean, lightly floured board.
- Drop small spoonfuls of the filling about every three inches along the side closest to you (remember, you will be making small squares).
- Dampen the dough around the filling with water
- Fold the dough over and seal each mound, pressing out the air with your fingertips as you go.
- Cut the pasta between the filling, and press the edges lightly to seal. (You can see a sample of the proper shape at the Professional Pasta site.)
- Boil the water for the pasta.
- Gently place the tortelli in the water and bring to a gentle boil.
- Once the water begins boiling again it will take 2 to 4 minutes for it to cook. (Fresh pasta cooks very quickly.)
- Checking to see if the pasta is done should begin as soon as the pasta begins to float to the surface.
- Remove from the water with a slotted spoon.
- In a skillet melt the butter with the sage leaves.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
- Place a little of the sage-butter sauce in the serving dish. Place the pasta on top of this sauce.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the pasta.
- Gently stir the pasta with the sage-butter sauce.
- Serve immediately.
Notes: Mantova is the largest city in the Lombardy region. It is famous for its food and wine. Check out the Food and Wine Routes promoted by the city.
This dish is an excellent meatless - vegetarian meal. It combines the health benefits of pumpkin with sophisticated flavors.