Ok, I have a soft spot for pumpkin… a big one, I might say.

And, if the cream of pumpkin soup is my Achilles heel (those of you who believe I only have one Achilles heel raise your hand … well, who raised his/her hand is wrong), pumpkin tortelli are placed second place in my “favourite pumpkin dishes” top 10: their filling with amaretto and mustard flavour amazes me every time and makes me go crazy; well, and they’re served with butter and a lot (really a lot) of grated Parmigiano Reggiano… simply delicious, I have no further definitions.

Also, for me it pumpkin tortelli mean Mantua, and I love this city so much, a human scale city, with a discreet and delicate charm, with its cobblestones, its little squares, its palaces, its rich and generous cuisine.

I have many memories of Mantua: some of them are tied to little holidays spent between bookstores and restaurants, with people who now I tend to neglect, but who I always carry in my heart for what they gave to  me, because of their advices, because of the laughter and the noshes. Some of those memories, instead, are tied to people I lost, and thanks to their departure I learned the importance of picking myself up, the greatness and the power of change. Thus, these memories that have a sweet-sour flavor, the ones that leave an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth, are now replaced by new memories, with a sweet taste and able to surprise with something unexpected and delicious, a bit like these pumpkin tortelli, that now in my mouth taste like tenderness, like surprise, like happiness.

For this recipe I thank grandma Rosa, who is not my grandmother, but the gorgeous lady who, thanks to her nephew, taught me how to make pumpkin tortelli… on Youtube (part 1 and part 2).

Pumpkin tortelli

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Recipe type: First course
Cuisine: Italian cuisine, Mantua
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: about 120 tortelli
Ingredients
  • FOR FRESH PASTA
  • 400g flour
  • 4 eggs
  • salt
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 700-800 g MANTUAN pumpkin, dirty (I used more or less a kilo of it)
  • 1 hg amaretti cookies
  • 2 tablespoons of apple mustard
  • 1 hg grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • nutmeg
  • breadcrumbs
  • FOR DRESSING
  • usalted butter
  • sage
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Instructions
  1. Prepare fresh pasta: on a worktop place the flour, make a hole in the middle and break the eggs in, add some salt and start stirring, then knead until you have a ball of dough: leave it to rest for at least half an hour (but the longer the better) under an upside-down bowl (so that the dough doesn’t dry out).
  2. Meanwhile place the pumpkin, washed, sliced and seeded in a baking dish, and bake it in the oven at 284°F (140°C) for about 40 to 50 minutes, or until it’s soft.
  3. Once the pumpkin is cooked and cooled down, remove the skin and put the flesh into a bowl. Then add the amaretti cookies, previously crushed, mustard, grated Parmigiano, nutmeg and breadcrumbs until you have a quite thick filling (see Grandma Rose’s video to watch that consistency). Set aside.
  4. Roll out the dough, with a rolling pin or with your pasta machine, until you have a thin (but not too much: with pasta machine stop at the penultimate notch). Now make your tortelli with a special mold (like I did), or by placing some dollops of filling on the pasta sheet, covering with another pasta sheet and then cutting your tortelli.
  5. Bring to a boil a pot of salted water; in the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan and flavour it with sage. When the water boils, put the tortelli in and drain them with the help of a slotted spoon as soon as they rise to the surface. Place them in a bowl and gradually dress them with melted flavoured butter and grated Parmigiano. Carefully mix together (they’re very delicate).

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