I have been cooking with fresh pumpkin frequently over the past few months, using it often in my baking or pasta dishes. Recently I began to crave a stuffed pumpkin pasta, but wanted to use whole grain dough. I have never made a whole grain stuffed pasta dough in the past, having used the traditional egg and regular flour dough, so I was a little hesitant. I decided to use whole wheat pastry flour for my pasta, and it worked out beautifully. I did roll my dough using my KitchenAid stand mixer and roller attachment, but I cut and shaped my mezzaluna by hand. Mezzaluna is simply a half moon shaped stuffed pasta that is easily formed by folding a circle in half after stuffing it and then sealing the half moon with the tines of a fork.
When using pumpkin in almost all of my recipes, I prefer to use fresh pumpkin that I roast and then puree as I feel it has a much better, enhanced flavor. To roast your pumpkin, simply cut it into quarters and remove the seeds and threads. Place the pumpkin pieces cut side down on a lightly greased foil lined baking sheet, then roast in a preheated 400-degree oven until fork tender. Once cool, use a spoon to scoop out the pulp from the shell and puree in a food processor.
If using a pasta machine to roll your dough, I find it best to run it through each setting two or three times until you have reached the desired thickness. This method helps to create an elastic dough that works well when making stuffed pasta. I use just a little water if needed to seal my pasta rounds, not egg as many recipes use as I find an egg wash creates a stiff edge on the pasta when cooked. The most important tip in working with fresh pasta is to allow the dough to rest after it has been kneaded. It will soften after the resting period and be much easier to work with. I froze half of this recipe after shaping it and a week later I then cooked it frozen, and it turned out beautifully. I prefer a light sauce for this pasta to allow the pumpkin flavor to shine, so I topped it with a little browned butter flavored with chopped sa
Mound your flour on a large pastry board, or the counter, and make a well in the center. Break the eggs, salt, and olive oil into this well, and start to scramble each egg with a fork as it is being added.
Begin to knead the ball of dough as you would bread, pushing it down with the heel of your hand, and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and satiny, for about 5 minutes.
Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes.
While the pasta is resting make the pumpkin filling.
Pasta and filling ready!
Cut the dough into 6 pieces and roll each through the pasta roller. Roll through each number until your dough is thin enough to barely see your hands through it, about 1/8th of a inch thick.
Use a 3-inch cutter to cut as many circles as possible from your dough.
Place a teaspoon of filling onto each circle.
Pick the stuffed circle up and fold in half matching seams. Starting at the center close the edge pressing air out. Use the times of a fork to seal the edge.
Deborah Mele 2014
- 3 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Water If Needed
- 3 Cups Roasted Pumpkin Puree (See Notes Above)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Orange Peel
- 4 Crumbled Amarretti Cookies
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Liquid Honey
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 4 Large Sage Leaves
- Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Cracked Black Pepper
- To make the pasta, mound your flour on a large pastry board, or the counter, and make a well in the center.
- Break the eggs, salt, and olive oil into this well, and start to scramble each egg with a fork as it is being added.
- Start to incorporate the eggs and flour by slowly bringing more flour in from the inside edges of the well.
- Continue adding the flour to the eggs until they are no longer runny, adding in a tablespoon or so of water if needed
- Using your hands now, bring the outside edges in, forming a large mass on your board.
- Begin to knead the ball of dough as you would bread, pushing it down with the heel of your hand, and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and satiny, for about 5 minutes.
- Wrap the prepared dough in plastic wrap, and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 6 pieces and work with one at a time, leaving the others covered as you work.
- Use a pasta roller or roll by hand to make long sheets of pasta 1/8th of an inch thick.
- I use my Kitchen Aide table mixer with the pasta attachment and roll my past to the third last position (number 5).
- After rolling, cut into 18 inch long strips.
- While the pasta is resting, begin to prepare the filling.
- In a food processor, blend the filling ingredients together until smooth.
- Lay the pasta sheet onto a lightly floured board and using a 3 inch circular biscuit cutter, cuts many circles as you can, discarding the scraps.
- Place a teaspoon full of filling into the center of each pasta circle. (If the dough seems a little dry, use a dampened finger the lightly moisten the edge.)
- Using your fingers, fold the dough in half, matching edges, and starting at the center gently push out any air.
- Use the times of a fork to seal the sealed edge of the pasta half moons.
- Place the prepared pasta on a baking sheet dusted with fine cornmeal.
- Continue to prepare the remaining mezzaluna in the same manner, and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Heat a large pot of salted water to boil.
- While the water is coming to a boil, heat the butter over medium heat until the butter is beginning to brown.
- Add the sage, mix and keep warm over low heat.
- Once the water is boiling, drop in the pasta and cook until "al dente". (The timing depends on how long the ravioli was left to rest but generally is about 4 minutes.)
- Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss with the butter mixture.
- Serve in individual bowls, topped with pine nuts.
- Offer cracked black pepper and grated cheese at the table.