Tortelli di Zucca | Squash Ravioli Pasta Recipe
Despite acquiring the name "tortelli," these are squash ravioli that blend sweet and savory flavors to make an incredible autumn dish. You'll need a few ingredients that are likely not available in your local grocery store, but they're worth purchasing online just to make this delicious pasta.
We found kobocha (Japanese) squash to be the closest equivalent to the Italian variant used to make tortelli di zucca. Feel free to use a different type of squash, provided it is meaty and not too fibrous (skip the spaghetti squash).
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
Makes about 20 ravioli, which can be frozen and saved for later if desired.
For this recipe, you will need:
1 2/3 cup (200g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 large eggs
12.5 oz. (350g) kobocha squash, peeled with seeds removed
1 oz. (30g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste
1.75 oz. (50g) apple mostarda, or to taste
Unsalted butter for serving (2 tbsp per serving, see below)
Fresh sage leaves
While you don't need them, the following will be helpful to have on hand:
Begin by making the pasta dough. Pour the flour into a pile on a clean work surface and hollow out the center, like a volcano. Crack the eggs into the center and whisk them with a fork, gradually mixing in the surrounding flour. When the mixture thickens, you can fold in the rest of the flour and knead the dough by hand until it is very smooth and even.
Note that not all eggs are the same size, so don't worry if your dough doesn't absorb all the flour or if you need to dust it with more. Pasta is smart, and will absorb as much as it needs. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest, at room temperature, while you cook the squash. We found steaming to be an excellent way to cook kobocha squash, but you can also bake it on a parchment-lined tray at around 390 degrees F (200C). In either case, cut the squash into large chunks and cook until it is fork tender.
Using a masher or potato ricer, mash the cooked squash into a mixing bowl. Crush the amaretti cookies into powder; you can do so using a food processor or just smashing them in a bag. Add this and the Parmigiano cheese into the squash. If your apple mostarda comes with solid chunks or slices of apples, dice these before adding them as well, along with a few spoonfuls of the yummy mostarda "sauce" from the jar.
Finally, sprinkle the mixture with a pinch of nutmeg and salt to taste. Mix it all together well and set aside for later.
Time to roll the pasta dough! A pasta machine is very useful for stuffed pasta as it will mean less cutting, but you can also use a rolling pin. Work in batches with about 1/3 of the dough at a time, and keep the dough you're not currently working with wrapped in plastic so that it doesn't dry out. Also, gather and wrap up any scraps that get discarded as you work so that they can be rolled out again with the next batch.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out thin (#6 setting on a Marcato Atlas machine). If using a machine, you don't need to do so but otherwise use a sharp knife to cut two long rectangular strips of dough, each about 4 inches wide. They should be about the same size so one can cover the other. Place heaping tablespoons of squash stuffing down the center of one, with about 2 inches of space between each spoonful.
Drape the second strip of dough over the stuffing and gently press down around the spoonfuls to push out as much air as possible from around the squash. Use a ravioli cutter or knife to cut 3-inch ravioli squares around each center of stuffing. Firmly press the edges shut and arrange the finished ravioli on a floured baking sheet. Continue the process with the next batch of dough until you've used all of it, and/or the stuffing, up.
At this point, you can freeze some or all of the ravioli for later. Place the entire tray in the freezer until the pasta is frozen solid, at which point you can transfer it into a bag or other container. Cook the ravioli directly from frozen, as if they were fresh. Don't thaw them in advance.
Usually a serving is 4-5 ravioli. For each serving, you'll need 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter. Be careful not to cook so much at once that you risk overcrowding the pot and/or pan.
To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat and add some fresh sage leaves.
Once the butter has melted completely, carefully drop the ravioli into the boiling water. Cook them for 3 minutes, then transfer the pasta into the skillet with a slotted spoon. Gently toss them in the butter until completely coated, then serve with extra butter from the pan drizzled on top. Buon appetito!