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Recipe for :

Ravioli di Zucca

This recipe comes from Pongi in Italy. I asked Pongi for a little background and this is what she had to say:

"My Mother's family comes from Emilia Romagna (my Grandpa was from Parma and my Grandma from Reggio Emilia) and I grew up eating homemade ravioli! I still have all my grandma's pasta tools, including a king-size, more than three feet long, old mattrel . . . This ravioli filing recipe and the one for Ravioli alle Erbette <click here> are my favourites of the 'traditional' ones. Being both meat-free, they are also a typical part of the Christmas Eve dinner in Emilia Romagna. These are the recipes I have learned at home!"


2 lbs fresh peeled pumpkin
1 large egg
7 lbs grated parmesan cheese
2 oz butter (optional)
5/6 Italian Amaretti (almond cookies), the dry type
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

  • Cut the pumpkin into pieces and fold in aluminum foil and bake at 350° until tender.
  • Mash with a fork (if it's still watery, dry it gently heating it in a pan until a wooden spoon can stand up in it).
  • Add parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, the melted butter if you like, and the powdered Amaretti. Mix until smooth.

The pumpkin ravioli are usually slightly larger than the Ravioli alle Erbette. If you can't get Amaretti or don't like their taste, substitute with a tbsp sugar . . . although the result will not be the same!

Serves 4 - 6

. . . and something more:

As for the ravioli pasta, I usually make it with

3 eggs each
1 lb flour,
a pinch of salt, and
water (enough to make it smooth)

This pasta is quite hard to work as it's very firm and elastic, dries very quickly and requires a longer cooking time, but it's tastier than the egg-free one (and, in any case, is the true emilian one!)

About the sauce

In Italy, this ravioli and Ravioli alle Erbette are both served only with butter and parmesan cheese, making in a large bowl many layers of hot ravioli, cheese and butter. Probably this dish is too 'basic' for non-Italian palates . . . but the taste of these ravioli (mainly the pumpkin ravioli) is very subtle, and killing it with something like a tomato sauce would be a pity

Hope you enjoy these recipes, and please let me know if you would also like some meat filling recipes!