Cappellacci di Zucca (Pumpkin-stuffed pasta)

Recipe courtesy Tony Priolo, executive chef and owner, Piccolo Sogno, Chicago 

Priolo makes this classic cappellacci with housemade pasta and locally grown pumpkin, but you can use canned pumpkin. The filling also takes ravioli form at his new Piccolo Sogno Due.

  • ½ cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons crushed amaretti cookies
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 24 4-inch squares of fresh pasta sheets (available in supermarkets)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 1 cup chicken broth (can substitute vegetable broth)

To make pumpkin purée, coat 1-inch cubes of peeled pumpkin lightly with vegetable oil and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes, then purée with a fork or food processor.

Stir together the pumpkin and ricotta, and drain in a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth set over a bowl for at least 4 hours. Gather the cheesecloth together and squeeze out any excess liquid. Mix the drained pumpkin-ricotta in a bowl with the cookies, nutmeg, allspice and salt and pepper to taste.

Beat the egg with the water. To assemble the cappellacci, lightly coat one side of the pasta with the egg wash using a pastry brush. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the middle of each square. Fold over to make a triangle, pressing firmly around filling to force out any air. Bring the two opposite corners together, moistening them where they will touch, then overlap the ends and press together to seal.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is heating, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the walnuts and sage in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter begins to turn lightly brown and smell nutty, add the broth and remaining butter, and reduce by half.

Add the cappellacci to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, then drain well and add to the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Pair It

Zanasi 2013 La Grasparossa Secco (Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro); $14, 88 points. Plum, cassis and blueberry preserve aromas open this bubbly Lambrusco. The dry, savory palate offers crushed raspberry, blackberry, graphite and a hint of clove alongside brisk acidity and chewy tannins.

Published on January 21, 2016

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