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Pumpkin Ravioli with Parmesan and Amaretti di Saronno
Yield: 6 servings
This delectable recipe is a festive Christmas specialty of Northern Italy.
The rich ravioli make an ideal first course, followed by a wonderful meat
main course with a salad. Because of pumpkin's inherent sweetness, it's
always a big hit with kids. Pumpkin also offers mega doses of Vitamin A and
substantial phosphorus and potassium. You and your children can make your own
puree by following the directions for a butternut squash puree. There's one
described in the Butternut Soup recipe in my book. (Replace the
stock with the same amount of water.) When you puree, use less cooking liquid
so it will be very thick, not runny. You can freeze it in plastic
bags/containers in 1 cup portions, and use as needed in various recipes
throughout the winter.
- 3 cups
canned or fresh pumpkin puree
- 4 Tablespoons
(1/2 stick) butter
cup Parmesan cheese (brick or pre-grated)
cup heavy cream
- 3 cardamom
of kosher salt to taste
To fill the ravioli:
eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 package
wonton wrappers or use the recipe for ravioli dough
- 2 tablespoons
6 amaretti cookies, crushed (optional)
More freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Equipment: rolling pin or mortar and pestle, cookie cutters
To make the filling:
1. In a medium saucepan, warm up the pumpkin puree over medium heat.
Add the butter and stir until melted. While the puree is heating, older
children can grate the Parmesan cheese if not using pre-grated. Blend
in the cheese to the warm puree, stirring with a wooden spoon until
it is melted and evenly distributed. Everyone should get a chance to
stir. Remove from the heat, and stir in the heavy cream, mixing thoroughly.
2. Have the children open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds in a
mortar and pestle or with a rolling pin on a cutting board. Let them
gather the seeds and stir into the pumpkin puree mixture. Set mixture
aside to cool.
To fill and cook the ravioli:
fresh pasta, including wonton dough, dries out quickly so you will want
to have your choice of filling ready at this time to fill them.)
1. Unwrap the wonton wrappers and remove about eight sheets. Cover the
remaining squares with a cloth and reserve. Have your children select
a pastry cutter or cookie cutter about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Cut
out the desired ravioli shapes. Place them on a cookie sheet in pairs,
and cover with a towel. The wonton skins are now ready to be filled.
2. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal or cornstarch and set aside.
If you are using the amaretti cookies, have children crush them by placing
the unwrapped cookies in a towel, covering them and crushing them with
a rolling pin. Now let the kids use a pastry brush and "paint" a line
of beaten egg, egg wash "glue," on the edges of the ravioli. Using a
spoon place just enough filling into the center of one piece of cut
out dough, leaving a one-half inch margin along the sides. Press an
identically shaped ravioli over the one with filling and egg wash.
3. Show the children how to carefully pinch the two pieces of dough
together, making sure the filling does not ooze out. A fork can also
be used to crimp the ends closed, this is easier for most small children.
Place the finished raviolis under a towel on the prepared baking sheet,
keeping them separate so they do not stick together.
4. Add the olive oil to a pot of boiling water and, using a slotted
spoon, carefully place the ravioli in the pot. After a few minutes,
very carefully remove one with a slotted spoon and test for doneness.
They're done when the pasta is still slightly chewy--don't cook too
long or they will fall apart! Serve with more butter and Parmesan and
sprinkle the crushed amaretti cookies over the top as a crowning touch
for a delectable sweet/salty effect.
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