Ravioli di….Zucca! One of our top ten favorite dishes of all-time: Ravioli di Zucca. The first time I ate these tortelli of pumpkin, was in a restaurant called Alla Borsa. This restaurant is situated in the North of Italy: Valleggio sul Mincio near the Garda Lake. It has a simply and very traditional feel inside. Their menu is amazing and basically everything is tasty and ofcourse made by hand.
The day has come to try and replicate this fantastic dish so full of flavor. The last time we were at the restaurant we asked the cook what made the filling of this pasta so special. The most important ingredient besides the obvious pumpkin and amaretti is the mostarda di Mantova: condiment of candied apples in a mustard syrup. As I have not been able to find this in local shops in The Netherlands I’ve used apple compote. This will have major impact on the final taste. As this recipe is time consuming I would prefer to buy some ready made in Italy. If I catch the winter blues I might consider to make the mostarda in a bigger quantity and preserve it.
Ingredients (serves 4)
Waiting: 2 hours
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 3 minutes
Kitchen tools: pasta machine and ravioli cutter
- 1 pumpkin
- 100 grams of mostarda di Mantova/apple compote
- 100 grams of grated grana padano cheese
- 100 grams of amaretti
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- zest of 1 small lemon
- 4 eggs
- 400 grams of plain flour
You need quite some time to make the filling for the ravioli. However, you could easily prepare the filling one day before if you have guests coming over.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
Filling: Peel, slice and clean the pumpkin. Chop the slices into smaller pieces and then wrap them in tin foil. Place the package on a backing tray and leave in the oven for an hour. The pieces should come out very soft. Now mix the pumpkin with the cheese, amaretti, mostarda, salt, pepper, zest and nutmeg with a blender. You now have a smooth paste. Taste if you like the flavor and add more nutmeg/salt/pepper. Place your dish with pumpkin paste in the fridge for another hour.
Pasta: Use 1 egg and 100 grams of flour per person. Mix the eggs and flour, add a bit of salt. Create a good dough and work it with your hands. Use the pasta machine to make a nice flat sheet of pasta that you can slice with a ravioli cutter. The thinner the pasta, the tastier but also more difficult at the same time because the chance of the raviolo breaking is bigger. Line up the balls of pumpkin paste as shown on the photo and create your ravioli! Turn them and sprinkle some flour on to avoid sticking. Boil a big pan of water with some salt.
Gently add the pasta to the pan and boil for 3 minutes or until they come to the surface. Don’t add the pasta until the water is boiling well. Sprinkle with fresh extra virgin olive oil (or melted butter) and grana padano.
We were satisfied with the end result but a small note on the side: tortellini (small) or tortelli are probably more appropriate as the pasta can overpower the filling.