Roast Pumpkin and Ricotta Mezzelune

Handmade vegetarian pasta

Serves approximately 5
So, the other week I asked my Facebook followers what kind of vegetarian pasta dish they’d like to see and they voted for a handmade filled pasta dish. And so I created this Roasted Pumpkin and Ricotta Mezzelune!

Mezzelune is the Italian word for “half moons”, referring to this pastas semi circular shape.
Obviously this pasta can be served with whatever sauce you please but I reckon the nutty flavour and the sage ties everything together perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of Homemade Pasta Dough, divided into 6 equal pieces
  • Approximately 900g butternut pumpkin, skin peeled and cut into largish chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 250g fresh ricotta
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian hard cheese of your choice (optional), finely grated

Sauce per Serve:

  • 15-20g butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 leaves fresh sage, finely sliced
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp toasted pine nuts *Note

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºc. Place the pumpkin into a medium roasting pan, drizzle over the oil, season to your liking with salt and pepper and give it a toss. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Add in the garlic cloves to the pumpkin and give a mix. At the other end of the roasting pan add the ricotta so that it is separate from the pumpkin. Place back into the oven for another 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and slightly caramelized and the ricotta is a little bit crumbly.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the pumpkin and garlic mixture then add the basil, Italian hard cheese (if using) and crumble in the ricotta. Give the mixture a taste and season to your liking with salt and pepper if it needs it. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
  3. Using a pasta machine or your pasta machine attachment for your mixer, roll out each piece of pasta dough into long thin sheets. I did mine up to dial number 7. You want the dough thin enough so that you can see the shadow of your hand through them. **Note if you don’t have a pasta machine see notes on how to do completely by hand.
  4. Place about a heaped teaspoon of filling into the middle of the sheet of pasta leaving about 4cm gap between each pile (see picture below) and lightly wet the edges around the filling with water.pasta filling
  5. Carefully fold the sheet in half and gently press around each filling to seal it inside, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Once all sealed, use a cookie cutter to cut out each filled pasta (see picture below) and set aside on a floured tray and repeat until all filling has been used.Pasta shape
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a fry pan, melt the butter over a medium low heat and continue to let it simmer until it starts to darken and smell nutty. Add in a squeeze of lemon juice,pinch of salt and the sage leaves.
  7. Add a serving of pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer pasta straight from the pot to the burnt butter sauce and swirl/toss around and simmer in the sauce for about 1 minute.
  8. Transfer to a plate/bowl to serve and repeat with the rest of the servings. Top with the toasted pine nuts. If your frying pan is large enough you can do multiple servings at a time. My fry pan was only large enough for 2 servings.

Note: * To toast pine nuts- Preheat oven to 200ºc. Place pine nuts onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until golden and toasty.
** To make pasta completely by hand without a machine- Grab a small ball of pasta dough (about size of a ping pong ball) and roll it out as thin as you can get it, place a heaped teaspoon of filling into the center, wet the edges, fold over and cut out with cookie cutter.