Pumpkin ravioli (Tortelli o Ravioli di Zucca) is a traditional dish of Lombardy, a region in northern Italy. In particular they are famous in the city of Mantua (Mantova).
Pumpkin Ravioli Recipe is very ancient. The original recipe dates back to the Renaissance, when Gonzaga family ruled Mantua.
Nowadays Pumpkin Ravioli recipe can be tasted in the whole Lombardy, throughout fall season. But in Mantua you can taste it also during Christmas time because it’s the official Christmas’ Eve dish.
The peculiarity of Pumpkin Ravioli original recipe is in using into the filling two very special characteristic ingredients of Lombardy: Quince or Pears Mustard and Amaretti biscuits.
Pumpkin Ravioli Original Recipe
For fresh egg pasta (40 ravioli)
For the filling
- 350 g (12,4 oz) – baked Mantua pumpkin (or cheese pumpkin or calabaza squash)
- 80 g (2,8 oz ) – Amaretti biscuits
- 50 g (1,8 oz) – quince or pear Mustard
- 100 g ( 3,5 oz) – dried bread crumbs
- 100 g ( 3,5 oz ) – grated Grana Padano cheese
- 1 – egg
- a teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- a pinch of salt
For the sauce
- 70 g ( 2,5 oz ) – butter
- a few sage leaves
- grated Grana Padano cheese to taste
First of all start preparing the ingredients so you are ready to follow Pumpkin Ravioli recipe (1), then bake the pumpkin into the oven (from 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the pumpkin) (2). When ready (stick the fork and feel if the pumpkin is already soft), take off the pumpkin pulp with a spoon and remove carefully seeds and filaments (3).
Let it cool in a bowl (4). Now we can start preparing the ravioli filling. Mash the pumpkin pulp with a potato masher or with a food mill (5). Check carefully that there would be no seeds. Next, finely crumble the amaretti with your hands (6-7)
Now add amaretti to the pumpkin mashed pulp and stir(8). Take the mustard you have choosen(9) and chop it very finely (do not reduce it to cream).
Finally add the mustard to the filling (10). Then add grated Grana Padano cheese (11) and one egg (12). Stir carefully each time you add an ingredient.
Now add about a teaspoon of nutmeg or grate it directly onto the filling; this way you’ll have much more flavor (13-14). Last ingredients to add: bread crumbs and a pinch of salt (15). If you see that the filling is too watery and soft, increase the portion of bread crumbs to dry it. Stir carefully and let it rest in the fridge.
Meanwhile, in order to proceed with the preparation of pumpkin ravioli, you have to prepare the fresh egg pasta (16-17-18). For the preparation of homemade pasta, we refer to our recipe that you can find here: How to Make Homemade Pasta.
Divide the dough into equal parts and roll out one at a time; make strips 1/2 mm thick and about 10 cm in width (19). Place 2 strips of dough on a work surface, then put on one of them some small doses of filling (the size of a walnut) (20). It’s very important that the doses are spaced apart and the same size. Finally cover with the other strip of dough (21).
Close with your hands the pasta around the filling: press down to make stick the pasta and let the air out (you can wet the edges with a little water if necessary) (22). Finally cut the pumpkin ravioli with a special pasta wheel (23). Detach the ravioli one by one and place them on a floured tray to keep them from sticking to each other (24).
Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water for about 10/15 minutes (25). Occasionally taste the corner’s dough to feel if the ravioli are cooked and ready. Pour the butter into a small fry pan and place over low heat. Add the sage leaves and heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Using a large slotted spoon, lift out the ravioli and transfer to the serving plate. Drizzle the sage butter over the ravioli and add copious grated Grana Padano cheese. Serve immediately (26).