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How to make pumpkin and ricotta tortelli with pesto for World Pasta Day


Celebrate World Pasta Day with this delicious recipe (Picture: Paul Ainsworth/Caffè Rojano)

It’s World Pasta Day, so we are celebrating all things penne, tagliatelle, fusilli and beyond.

While arrabbiata, carbonara and lasagne are household favourites on chilly evenings, filled pasta is another great warming option – particularly when it’s all homemade. 

If you’ve always wanted to make pasta for yourself at home, but have found the process a little daunting, we have an easy tortelli (filled pasta) recipe that features roasted pumpkin and ricotta, as well as green pesto sauce.

Paul Ainsworth is the chef behind this particular seasonal creation – and he serves this recipe at his family-friendly restaurant Caffè Rojano in Padstow, Cornwall.

It’s worth pointing out that tortelli can be found in several shapes, including square, semi-circular, or twisted into a rounded, hat-like form.

So whatever option you find easiest can be applied to the following method – even though simple instructions can be found below, too.

Pumpkin and ricotta tortelli with pesto recipe:

Comfort food at its best (Picture: Paul Ainsworth/Caffè Rojano)

Ingredients

For the pasta ball 

  • 500g 00 flour 
  • 330g egg yolk 

For the filling

  • 1 small crown prince pumpkin (2.5kg) 
  • 100g ricotta
  • 150g grated parmesan 
  • 50g amaretti biscuits 
  • 50ml sherry vinegar 
  • 50ml lemon juice 

For the pesto

  • 900g pomace oil
  • 500g toasted pine nuts
  • 150g basil 
  • 300g wild garlic 
  • 150g lemon juice 
  • 150g parmesan

Method

1. For the pasta ball, blitz the flour in a mixer then add the egg yolk slowly. After knead the dough until it has some spring back. 

2. Split this into three balls wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least one hour – but preferably overnight.

3. For the mix, start by skinning the pumpkin with a sharp knife, then roast in an oven for 1.5 hours at 150°C with sea salt, rosemary and thyme, until the pumpkin is soft and start to breaks down. Then on a high heat in a pan roast the pumpkin constantly moving until all the moisture has been removed this can take up to an hour – depending on how moist the pumpkin is. 

4. Once all the moisture has been removed, take off the heat and add in your remaining ingredients folding through each one individually. Taste and adjust acidity and seasoning if necessary and leave it to cool.

5. When the filling is made, put the pasta ball through the machine and working the dough all the way down. Trim the pasta to a generous strip and fill with your mix, then seal your pasta with water and cut into shape. 



How to fill tortelli:

  • Lay a length of thin pasta sheet on a work surface dusted with flour or semolina.
  • Take a small tablespoon of the filling and place it half an inch from the top of the dough. Add another blob 2cm apart and keep going all the way along the sheet.
  • Using your finger wet the edges of the sheet and the strips of pasta in between the dollops of filling.
  • Then pick up the bottom part of the dough and folder it over the filling so you have a, sort of, pasta sausage.
  • Gently press around the filling, pushing any pockets of air out, and seal your tortelli before cutting out each piece. You can use a fork to help seal the outside and create a pleasing pattern.

6. Cook the filled pasta in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes.

7. Then, for the garlic pesto, blitz parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice to a paste then add wild garlic and basil. Slowly add oil to make the pesto and adjust seasoning with lemon juice and salt.

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