Tortellone di Zucca
1 kabocha squash, quartered, seeds cleaned out, roasted dry at 350 F for one hour (sub butternut squash/acorn squash/pumpkin/sweet potato)
1/3 of a nutmeg, 1 all spice berry, 1/4 of a star anise, 1 inch of a cinnamon stick; all ground together in a spice grinder
1/2 c honey
1/2 c grated parmigiano reggiano
salt to taste
400g tipo 00 flour
240g liquid (4 eggs + water to reach 240g)
20 sage leaves
6 T butter
grated parmigiano reggiano for topping
1. Make the pasta dough by hand or if you must, use a food processor until it comes together. Bring onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead until there are no air bubbles when cut down the center (you want a smooth dough, inside and out). Keep a finger bowl of water + a little extra flour nearby if you need to adjust, but this recipe is usually the perfect amount from the start (weather permitting; i.e. as long as it’s not very hot + humid). Cover the dough and allow to rest for 30 minutes. 2. Spoon out squash filling + discard the skin, and pulse all filling ingredients in a food processor until combined. Taste and adjust as necessary to your liking. 3. If using a pasta machine, roll out dough to the thinnest setting, cut 3”x 3” squares. Place a large spoon of filling at the center of each square, fold in half to make a triangle, pressing all around to secure the filling. Then bring the two bottom points together, pressing until there is no seam left. Place on a sheet pan covered in a kitchen cloth, dusted with flour and continue until all the dough is finished. While forming the tortellone, get a large pot of salted water boiling. (You will only use 1/2 the filling. Freeze the remainder for your next batch, add chicken stock to it to make a soup, or double the pasta dough, use it all. I like to freeze half the tortellone for a lazy day) 4. When ready to eat, boil tortellone for 4-6 minutes (once they start floating, they still need another 2-3 minutes, i suggest tasting one before bringing them all out to be sure). Reserve at least one mug of pasta water and drain the pasta. 5. Add butter and sage to the same pot, throw in a large splash of pasta water, then the tortellone. Stir on high heat with a wooden spoon until the butter and pasta water have reduced to a glaze and all the pasta is glistening with it. Add more pasta water if necessary. 6. Serve on warm plates, covered in grated parmigiano reggiano.
PASTA TIP: Normally its best to do this with friends and family, the more hands the merrier. If you are few or doing this alone, have a water spray bottle nearby to mist the already-flattened dough occasionally while forming the tortellone, this way you’re sure the dough will not dry out!