Pumpkins make a tasty, alternative filling for ravioli, with their sweet and fragrant flesh. Choose clean, well-matured pumpkins with a firm rind and rich colour, avoiding broken or cracked vegetables. Peak season is from summer to late autumn. Use fresh pasta squares from Italian delicatessens, or wonton skins available from most oriental food stores. Serve with Parmesan and tomato sauce or olive oil and basil.
Preparation time : 25 minutes,
Drying time : 10-30 minutes,
Cooking time : 1 hour,
Oven : Preheat to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5)
Calories per serving: 330
40 pasta squares or wonton skins
1 small pumpkin
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon virgin olive oil
4 basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon parsley
1 tablespoon cream
1 teaspoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon sweet white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. For the filling, cut. the pumpkin in two and place both halves on an Oven shelf. Roast for 40 minutes until the inside is soft.
2. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the shallot and garlic and saute them in the butter and olive oil until tender.
Finely chop the basil leaves or parsley.
3. Remove the roasted pumpkin halves, then spoon out the flesh and discard the seeds and the tough fibre in the centre. Place 8 oz (225 g) of the pulp in a mixing bowl - reserving the remainder for another recipe or batch of ravioli if desired.
4. Stir in the shallot and garlic mixture, the cream, grated Parmesan cheese, white wine and basil or parsley. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
5. Lightly flour a flat surface and lay the 40 pasta squares or the wonton skins on it. Place 1 heaped teaspoon of the pumpkin filling in the centre of 20 of the squares or skins.
6. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush around the sides of every square. Cover each pumpkin-filled square with an empty square, pressing all four sides down to seal the ravioli, and allow to dry for at least 10 minutes.
7. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Using a flat spatula, ease the ravioli into the water and cook very gently for 12 minutes. Do not allow it to boil vigorously or the ravioli will break open. Remove them and drain.
8. Garnish with the chopped fresh herbs and serve immediately
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