Since Italy doesn’t celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday nor do they have a specific day of thanks, I put some thought into what dish would be proper for an Italian-American to serve that would honor both cultures. It turns out the ancient Romans celebrated a harvest festival called Cerelia, which honored Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and grain, hence the English word cereal. Of course a pasta dish would best grace the Italian-American table at Thanksgiving; the thing to consider is the sauce or filling. Which favorite seasonal ingredient is both present in the American Thanksgiving and also used in Italian cooking? Pumpkin; la zucca! So here is my recipe for pumpkin ravioli. Happy Thanksgiving and Buon appetito!
For 4 Person(s)
For the Filling
- 3 1/2 pounds pumpkin
- 1/2 pound freshly ground Parmigiano
- nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon heavy cream
- butter, breadcrumb, sage, Béchamel sauce and parsley.
For the Dough:
- make your favorite pasta egg dough recipe, which can also be found on the Cooking with Nonna website.
- Prepare egg pasta dough as you would for ravioli
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy material.
- Place the halves upside down in a large bowl filled with a couple of inches of water.
- Cover the bowl with another bowl so that the pumpkin steams. Microwave for about 12 minutes.
- When cool to the touch, scoop the flesh from the skin and place in a food processor with the Parmigiano, seasonings and cream.
- Place a little of the pumpkin mixture in the center of each ravioli then seal.
- Spread the ravioli on a lightly flour dusted cloth to dry for a while.
- When ready to serve, boil ravioli in plenty of salted water until tender, or about 5 minutes. Drain and toss with melted butter and more Parmigiano.
Other serving options: Fry the ravioli in butter and toss with Parmigiano, toasted bread crumbs and chopped parsley. Another option is to serve with fried sage leaves or a Béchamel sauce and toasted walnuts.