This filling, with it's spiced, savory flavor, can be used to stuff tortellini to serve in a rich, roast chicken broth. Or mix it with mashed sweet or white potatoes to make a gratin topped with buttery bread crumbs seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon, and telemé cheese. The raviolis can be made ahead and frozen.
- 1 small white or pie pumpkin (about 2 1/4 pounds) or Hubbard squash
- 2 tablespoons dark molasses
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Ravioli dough or 3/4-pound sheet pasta purchased from local Italian delicatessen
- Flour for dusting board
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds. Spread 1 tablespoon molasses in the cavity. Season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a roasting pan. Cook in the oven until very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature and scoop out flesh into the work bowl of a food processor.
Purée pumpkin until smooth, then spread on a baking sheet and return to the 375 degrees F oven to dry, about 10 minutes. The consistency will be like mashed potatoes. Scrape into a large mixing bowl.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to brown. Immediately remove from heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon molasses and all the vinegar. Add to pumpkin with inascarpone, Parmesan, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well. The recipe can be made ahead to this point (makes about 2 cups filling). Cover well and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 2 days.
To fill the raviolis: Lay out a sheet of pasta dough on a lightly floured board. Cut into circles with a 3 1/4-inch pastry cutter. Put 1 tablespoon pumpkin filling in the center of half the rounds using either a pastry bag or a small spoon. Leave a 1/4-inch border all around the filling. Moisten borders with water and top with remaining rounds of dough. Press all the air out and seal firmly by pressing all around with fingertips. Lay raviolis out to dry on a lightly floured board or baking sheet and lightly flour the tops. Repeat until you run out of dough and/or filling. To cook, boil in lightly salted water until tender, about 3 minutes.
Uncooked, filled raviolis may be used immediately or frozen for 2 months. Lay them out on sheet pans and place in freezer until frozen. Transfer to plastic bag.
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