While the weather is still summery here in California, that hasn’t stopped the stores from stocking everything Pumpkin. Seriously, Today at Trader Joe’s I saw pumpkin soup crackers (???) and pumpkin spice tortilla chips. What?
So this week I’m jumping on a the pumpkin bandwagon with a recipe that was featured in Walk On The Wild Side (those who have read it will remember that this was one of the possible dishes for Brady and Molly to cook during their appearance on Simply Delicious with Reggie Caldwell). In the book, Brady and Molly make the actual pasta dough from scratch, but really, who has time for that? This is a simplified approach using pre-made pasta or wonton wrappers stuffed with a delicious pumpkin filling.
1 1/2 pounds store-bought fresh pasta sheets or one package fresh wonton wrappers (if you use wonton wrappers, eliminate cutting the pasta into squares)
1 (2 1⁄2-lb.) sugar pumpkin, seeds removed and cut into chunks*
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
6 amaretti, or Italian almond cookies, crushed into crumbs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tbsp. honey
1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. butter
18 fresh sage leaves, chopped, plus more to garnish
*If roasting and pureeing the pumpkin is above your pay grade feel free to use 1 1/2 cups pre-made pumpkin puree. Just make sure not to use pumpkin pie filling!
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pumpkin chunks on a lightly oiled baking sheet until tender, 30–45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside for about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Transfer pumpkin pulp to a mixing bowl, mash with a fork, then beat in egg yolks and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add red pepper, amaretti, cinnamon, 2 tbsp. of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, honey, wine, and salt and cook for 3–4 minutes. Mix in pumpkin, cook for 2 minutes, then transfer to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Return pumpkin mixture to the same pan, cover, and keep warm over low heat.
For the sage brown butter: Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sage and cook until butter is golden brown. Remove from heat.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Carefully slip pasta squares into pot and cook until they rise to the surface. Use a large skimmer to remove pasta from the water. Drain well, then lay 1 square on each of 6 plates, spoon pumpkin filling onto squares, and cover with remaining pasta squares. Drizzle sage butter over each square, sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, and garnish with fresh sage leaves if you like.