I went into our Pierotucci Italian leather workshop and spoke with our leather crafts men and women for comments and helpful hints.
Today we will delight you with the Pierotucci Great Pumpkin Ravioli, which actually highlights a specialty from the Mantova, Cremona and Ferrara area just north of Florence.
There are as many ways to make the filling for pumpkin ravioli as the Texans have to make chili! However the base of the recipe is always the same . . . pumpkin.
It would appear that the men lean towards a mix of pumpkin, potato, Parmesan cheese, a pinch of hot pepper, a sprinkle of nutmeg and bacon bits.
But that is not traditional and no where near the only option available.
Some of the more classic cookies will mix the pumpkin with ricotta cheese to imitate the Florentine Spinach Ravioli but the die hard class cooks are traditionalist and prefer to add amaretto cookies to the filling. In any case, this is a traditional flavor that is on the menu for fall when pumpkins are ripe and abundant.
The pumpkin (about 500 grams will make enough for 4 persons) should be roasted in the oven – the idea is to cook it till you can smell the sweet almost caramelized perfume. The temps should be low and you will need a bit of time . . . Once it is cooked you should mash it and let it cool. My suggestion is, do this a day ahead.
Marian our leather seamstress suggested: I will also bake a small to medium potato and mix them together, I do this to thicken up the filling just a bit.
When you are ready to actually make the pasta, everything else gets added into the recipe with the classic Italian “q.b.” which means quanto basta – or translated it means “to taste.” One often says well how do I know how much is enough . . . and the classic answer is: if you have to ask, then it’s not enough. Actually the q.b. method is a piece of cake for a seasoned cook who will pinch and dash and mix and mash without even tasting the mixture – but I ask you what fun is that!?
Suggestion from my Ital-American colleague: grab yourself a glass of red wine and keep it close by, then mix, taste and sip….normally by the end of the glass you are getting the hang of it!
What is most important is that
1) it tastes good 😉
2) that is has a thick consistency so that it stays inside the pasta wrapper and doesn’t make it soggy.
Roll your pasta, fill, cut and seal.
Our Pierotucci master craftsman advises: Boil in abundant water with a sprinkle of sea salt. It is a common mistake! You foreigners do not use enough water . . . . the pasta needs room to swim.
When it is ready it will have floated to the top, but in any case 2 – 3 minutes in boiling water for FRESH pasta is normally enough. Remember to serve while hot.
If you like a sweet taste to the pasta then you substitute the potato (or ricotta), hot pepper and bacon with about 20 – 30 grams of crushed amaretto cookies.
The classic way to serve this is with a butter and sage topping. And. If you really want a touch of class, then sprinkle some fresh chopped walnuts.