food. family. life.

pumpkin cappellacci with brown butter & sage

October is my month to cook recipes from my personal collection that use the beautiful seasonal squash and mix of cooking pumpkins that are currently at their peak of flavor in most areas of the country and world. Italy celebrates fall with regional recipes that include pumpkin in soups, stews and my personal favorite, filled pastas.

In Emilia-Romagna they serve my favorite version of this seasonal pasta as cappellacci (these resemble the form of hats from the region.) This region is also well-known for the famous Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano, a D.O.P.-protected cheese which is made exclusively in Parma and Reggio Emilia.

zucca cappellacci con salsa di burro alla salvia


1 medium-large fresh sugar or sweet pumpkin

1 batch of homemade egg pasta dough (5 eggs/serves approx. 4-5 individuals)

pumpkin filling

roasted and pureed pumpkin

1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

1/2 cup or more grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 egg

salt and pepper to taste

DSC_4163Slice the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds for roasting later and season the two halves with a bit of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast in the oven set at 425 degrees fahrenheit until soft and tender when pierced with a fork (taste at this point to make sure it is cooked through.) Remove from oven and let cool.

Once cooled, remove the rind and scoop the flesh into your food processor bowl and process and purée until smooth and creamy (remove any stringy pieces.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pureed pumpkin and mix until well combined. Taste the mixture to adjust or add seasoning to your taste.

Make the pasta dough according to the directions; set aside to rest for 15 to 20 minutes covered under a bowl. Begin to roll out sections of the pasta dough into long very thing sheets and place on table and dust generously with flour.

You will want to cut the sheets into about 2″ squares for filling and forming into the cappellacci.

Place a small amount (one scant teaspoon) into the center of the square-cut dough and fold in half (into a triangle shape), twist and pinch closed as noted in the directions for making cappellacci.cucinadimammina_pumpkin cappellacci_2.jpg

Place the shaped pasta well spaced on a covered table and dust them with plenty of flour. Continue to roll out thin sheets of dough, cut the squares and fill as noted until all are done.

NOTE: My famiglia always works in groups of 2-3 family and or friends when making pasta; it’s faster and much more of a social event.

This pasta shape can also be filled with another favorite mixture of mine, spinach & ricotta; a variation I made the same day for a two flavor option that we throughly enjoyed that evening.

Follow this recipe below to create yet another delicious version of filled pasta for you and your famiglia to enjoy this season.

spinach & ricotta filling

DSC_42071 box frozen chopped spinach (squeezed/drained of all liquid)

1/2-3/4 cup whole milk ricotta

1/2 cup or more grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic

1 egg

Mix all the ingredients together until well combined; fill the pasta squares and fold as noted above. Serve this variation with a simple marinara sauce or roasted red tomato sauce, fresh basil and plenty of grated cheese.


Buon Appetito!

Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti & Carina Favale


2 Responses to “pumpkin cappellacci with brown butter & sage”

  1. Gintare @Gourmantine

    I absolutely adore the combination of pumpkin with ricotta, brown butter and sage. It’s timeless and hits all the marks every single time 🙂

  2. Joyce Poggi Hager

    Yum. I had this dish at a local restaurant recently and loved it! It’s quite a lot of work, but maybe I’ll give it a try one rainy weekend.

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