Tortelli di zucca – or pumpkin tortelli – originally hail from Mantova, a city south-east of Lombardy, where tradition still favours the consumption of these comforting parcels on Christmas Eve. Pasta ripiena di zucca (pasta filled with pumpkin) dates back as far as the Renaissance period, when pumpkin first appeared on the Italian culinary scene. Decadent filled pasta dishes were favoured by the nobility, with pumpkin-filled pasta first mentioned by Cristoforo Messisbugo, chef to the noble Gonzaga family, who ruled over Mantova until the early 18th century.
In Lombardy, tortelli di zucca are traditionally filled with a native variety of pumpkin called zucca mantovana – as well as crushed amaretti biscuits and a local apple-based preserve called mostarda. This filling is encased in fresh pasta dough and either shaped into hat-like tortelli or square, frilly-edged ravioli.
Inspired by Lombardy’s princely pasta, we implore you to dine like royalty with our comforting pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce. Filled with a robust yet sweet blend of pumpkin, garlic, nutmeg and Italian hard cheese, the sumptuous vegetarian filling is encased in fresh ravioli parcels, before being tossed in a sage-infused brown butter. For a nod to tradition, top with scattering of crushed amaretti biscuits – a dish truly fit for a king or queen
Our pumpkin ravioli recipe
Prep time: 80 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 695kcal
For the ravioli
- 400g flour
- 4 large eggs
For the filling
- 600g pumpkin, cubed
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 50g Italian hard cheese
- 50g butter
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp thyme
- Nutmeg, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the sauce and garnish
- 100g butter
- 8 sage leaves
- Black pepper
- Salt to season
- Shaved Italian hard cheese
- Crumbled amaretti biscuits (optional)
To make the ravioli
- To form your delicious ravioli parcels, simply follow our homemade ravioli recipe here, or follow along with our Head Chef Roberta in the video below:
To make the filling
- Scatter your pumpkin on a baking tray and drizzle with two teaspoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast in a preheated oven (175°C) for around 30 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.
- In a large frying pan, heat a glug of oil, add your shallot and garlic and gently sauté. Add in the butter, allowing it to melt, before tossing in the thyme. Leave a few minutes on low heat, enabling the flavours to delicately infuse.
- Once your pumpkin and the shallot mixture are relatively cool, add them to the bowl of a food processor. Add your grated Italian hard cheese, along with a generous helping of freshly-grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse the mixture to combine, ensuring everything is fully incorporated, but aiming to retain some texture in your filling - we find our pasta is best enjoyed a little rustic!
- Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour.
- Your filling is now complete.
To make the sage brown butter
- Remove the butter from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature on the counter.
- Chop the sage leaves and add to butter.
- Place the butter in a large pan and gently heat until it develops a deep brown hue, and a nutty flavour. By this point, your sage should be crisp and aromatic. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once cooked, transfer the pasta to the butter. Toss gently to coat.
- To finish, scatter a generous layer of Italian hard cheese atop your ravioli. Finish with a touch more cracked black pepper and, if using, a sprinkling of crushed amaretti biscuits. Serve and enjoy – buon appetito!