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  • Brittany Aldridge

Pumpkin and Ricotta Panzotti with Cavolo Nero

This dish is another comforting winter meal - and proves pumpkin is not just for pumpkin soup! This is silky, buttery pasta with sweet roasty pumpkin and creamy ricotta. Cavolo Nero (tuscan kale) add some vegetal brightness and crisps up nicely in the buttery lemon sauce. Nutritious, delicious, and easy cooking - to find out how, read ahead!

Serves 8, to serve 4 people simply divide in the quantities in half


For the pasta dough:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon cold water

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups of type 00 white flour, plus more for dusting

For the pasta filling:

  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin

  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme

  • 1 cup (250grams) of ricotta

  • zest of 1 lemon, plus a tablespoon of juice

  • 1 teaspoon of honey

  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the pasta sauce, cavolo nero, and roasted pumpkins:

  • 100 grams of butter, chopped

  • salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 bunch of Cavolo nero (or kale), washed and roughly chopped

  • 125 grams of Parmigiano-Reggiano (or good quality parmesan), finely grated

  • juice of half a lemon

  • 1/2 pumpkin, washed, skin removed and chopped into small cubes

  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil


For the roast pumpkin:

  • Heat the oven to 180°C fan forced (200°C or 392°F). On a roasting tray add pumpkin cubes, salt, pepper, cumin, thyme and a swig of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft on the inside. Set aside for later.

To make the pasta filling:

  • In a medium mixing bowl add ricotta, thyme, lemon zest, honey, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly then set aside until you're ready to fill you pasta.

To make the pasta dough:

  • In a mixing bowl add flour, salt, eggs and oil. Mix with your hands until the dough comes together. If your dough seems too crumbly, or its not holding together well, add the cold water.

  • Flour a chopping board and place dough on it. Knead the dough (for no more than 2 minutes) to form a ball. Flatten the dough so it is about 10 cms thick and then tightly wrap in cling wrap. Set this aside for at least an hour and a half so the dough relaxes.

  • Set up a pasta machine, and divide dough into 4 equal pieces. One at a time (wrap up rest of dough while you work on one piece) roll it out with a rolling pin until 4 cms thick. Next work the dough through the pasta machine on the various thickness settings, until you have a long piece of pasta that is paper thin.

  • Once the pasta is rolled out dust thoroughly with semolina or flour to prevent it from drying out. Using a large square cookie cutter or knife, cut squares about 7cms wide from the pasta sheet.

  • Prepare a glass or bowl of cool water beside your pasta workstation.

  • Rotate the pasta squares 90 degrees so that they become diamonds. Add 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each pasta diamond. Dip your finger in the glass of water and run it along the edge of the diamond so that the pasta can stick to itself.

  • Fold the pasta over itself (and the filling) to form a triangle shape, then gently press the sides together with your fingertips to seal the panzotti. Dust generously with flour while you work on shaping the others.

To make the sauce and assembly:

  • In a shallow dutch oven or large saucepan on medium heat add butter, spices, salt, and black pepper. Add the roast pumpkin cubes, and Cavolo nero, then cook, stirring occasionally until the cavolo nero is slightly wilted.

  • In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook pasta stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Take one panzotti out and test for doneness.

  • Once the pasta is cooked, remove from the water and using a slotted spoon add it to the saucepan with the pumpkin, and cavolo nero. Add 1 ladleful of the pasta water, and the parmesan, a squeeze of lemon, and gently stir (or toss) until the parmesan is melted and the sauce is creamy, glossy and emulsified.

  • Serve panzotti seasoned with more cracked pepper, and parmesan. Please enjoy!

Notes: If the pasta sauce looks too tight, add some more pasta water. If it is too thin you can add some more cheese or continue stirring for another minute (it will continue thickening as it cooks).

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