There’s one thing I enjoy about the arrival of Fall, Marco and I cook more! It’s also time to cook the heavier dishes to fatten us up a bit for the winter cold. And, I love our Sunday tradition of the three-course meal beginning with pasta, followed by a second course, and finishing up with dessert and espresso.
Here is a pasta dish that perfectly reflects the spirit of this blog; it is a wonderful marriage of Italy and New England in the Fall. Italy only has one type of winter squash, zucca, pumpkin. In America, we have many winter squash: pumpkin, butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and many more. Today’s recipe uses the pumpkin, a sweet version of the winter squash and the recipe is a local invention from Lombardia, the region of our beloved Cremona.
The filling for the tortelloni is made with roasted pumpkin, amaretti (almond flavored slightly bitter cookies), and mostarda Mantovana. Here are the pumpkins which are rubbed with olive oil and roasted at 350 for 45 minutes or until soft when poked with a knife.
Cremona is known for its Mostarda. I’ve tasted it only once and think it’s disgusting! It is a sweet and spicy combination of candied fruits, spices, and mustard seeds. In this traditional recipe from Mantova, tortelli di zucca Mantovani, the mostarda is made with apples and pears. Combine this with the pumpkin and cookies and you can imagine a sweet filling for our tortelloni! Needless to say, the mostarda doesn’t turn me off of this recipe!
Here, Marco rolls out the pasta and places the filling on top.
He seals the filling in the pasta and cuts them into individual pieces.
The sauce for the tortelloni is a combination of mushrooms, pancetta, olive oil, and white wine.
Here is the finished plate. The sweet of the filling is a wonderful match for the savory pancetta and earthiness of the mushrooms. Check out the full recipe below!
The pasta recipe was made in an earlier blog post and can be found by clicking here. The only difference is that this time, Marco tried all 3 cups of flour bring the “00” type of flour and we liked it much better!
Ingredients for the filling (this comes from a blog Memorie di Angelina which is referenced here).
- One ‘pie’ pumpkin or butternut squash, about 500g (or 1 lb.)
- 30-60g (1-2 oz.) amaretti cookies, finely crumbled
- 50-100g (2-4 oz.) grated parmesan cheese
50-100g (2-4 oz.) mostarda (pears and apples only)
- Nutmeg, salt and pepper, q.b.
- Breadcrumbs (if needed)
- cut, spoon out the seeds, rub with olive oil, and roast the pumpkin wedges for up to 45 minutes on 350° until they are soft to the cut with a knife
- once cool, scrape the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and add the cookies, cheese, and mostarda
- use the breadcrumbs only if the mixture needs to be thicker
- add the spices (don’t forget, q.b. means quanto basta or “as much as is enough” – to taste)
Ingredients for sauce:
- 8 ounces of mushrooms
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- heat olive oil
- add pancetta and sautee for 5 minutes
- add the mushrooms and sautee at high heat for 3-4 minutes
- add the wine at medium heat for about 5 minutes or until it evaporates
- salt and pepper to taste (q.b.) and add a little parsley near the end