by Francesca Patterson

The first of October has hit and the fall harvest is in full swing. Squashes, apples, pumpkins are showing all their fall spirit with fantastical shapes and colors, it is turning out to be a fountain of inspiration. Many of these pumpkins have much more to them than meets the eye, they have uses far greater than just being a pretty face on your front step. Squash and pumpkins have played a vital role in the history of the Americas. They have a long shelf life, being able to store for months and even sometimes up to a year. They are also dense and full of hearty nutrition, making this a crop that was able to sustain people during the development of these countries.
 
This week, I focused on an stunning variety that is called Marina De Chioggia. It is a unique Italian Heirloom pumpkin that comes from the southern ‘heel’ of Italy. In this Venetian town, they consider the bumpy pumpkin to be a savory delicacy that represents the beautiful and rich history of the Adriatic coast. It is commonly served roasted in quarters, or used as fillings for pasta such as in this recipe.
Ravioli is always an exciting kitchen activity that will surely have everyone in your group feeling like a professional chef. The Chioggia provided a beautifully delicate flavor that was the ideal filling when mixed with simple, fresh herbs and butter.
 
This meal tasted like royalty but was actually reasonably easy and inexpensive, and not to mention a blast to accomplish with my friends and family. The ravioli freeze very easily, making for a gourmet and fun food prep for your week.
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 medium culinary pumpkin
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves (fresh sage leaves)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp Plain low-fat yogurt (or heavy cream)
  • 1 Egg
  • Fresh pasta sheets (or you can use wonton papers)
  • Salt & pepper
Sage Butter ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 leaves of fresh sage (chopped)
  • Ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Being careful, chop your pumpkin into quarters and remove the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon. Rub the quarters with olive oil and roast it for an hour and a half. Set aside to cool. This can be done the day before and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Peel away the skin of the pumpkin, leaving you with chunks of pumpkin meat. With a blender or food processor, combine the sage, butter, cheese, yogurt, and add salt and pepper to taste. Blend until it is a smooth puree.
  3. Whisk your egg until blended, you will need this egg wash for step 4.
  4. Lay out your pasta sheets or wonton papers and cut them in to even 3×3 inch squares. You will need a sheet for the bottom layer, and a sheet for the top layer. Brush all four sides of the pasta sheets with a generous coating of egg wash, so that they will stick together. 
  5. Put about a tablespoon of pumpkin filling in the bottom sheet, and cover it with the top pasta sheet. Pinch down the sides to close it off, being careful not to squeeze the filling out. Arrange in an even layer on a rack until ready to cook.
  6. In a separate pan, melt the butter with the chopped sage. Grind black pepper generously.
  7. Boil a large pot of water and add a heavy dash of salt. Add ravioli and cook for 4-6 minutes or until they rise to the top. Pour sage butter over ravioli and serve while hot.
     
    This recipe makes more or less 20 pieces of ravioli, about 4 portions.

 

 

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