I am a bit scared when writing this post. Mostly, because it is very hard to describe the cooking process of the real cappellacci di zucca. I might prepare a video some day to make it easier to follow the cooking process but before I do this I wrote the recipe down with a short description how to prepare traditional cappellacci di zucca.
Ingredients to prepare pasta:
- 6 eggs
- 600g of flour
Ingredients to prepare filling:
- 600g of pumpkin
- 200g of parmiggiano
You should start with the pumpkin: the one we have in Italy is pretty small but VERY SWEET. Now, if the pumpkin you have is not sweet enough you can add sugar but the taste will not be the same. Take your pumpkin and cut it to 6-8 pieces. Put it into the warm oven (180 degrees) for about 30-40 minutes. It needs to become smooth so you could using a fork take the pulp out of the peel. Take it out of the oven and leave it until it is cool. Using a potato press you should get rid of the internal fibers and receive a smooth pulp. Freshly grated parmiggiano is ideal for this dish so if you have an access to original Italian products use it! Add freshly grated nutmeg and using salt and pepper season it according your preferences.
As for pasta the thing is more complex. First trick is that you should be very careful with flour and if you’re not sure about the exact weight or size of the eggs always take less than advised. Mix all eggs with whole flour at once starting with fork. Then, slowly knead it for at least 15-20 minutes. The final dough should be very smooth. The second useful trick is to leave to dough for at least half an hour in a plastic bag. The longer the dough ‘rests’ the smoother it becomes (no extremes, though!). Divide the dough into two pieces and while you work on the first one the rest still waits closed in a plastic bag.
Using a traditional pastry dough roller or a modern version of roller machine you need to get a large piece of pasta. You cut it into regular squares of about 4 cm and put small bits of filling (just like on the photo above). You close the squares and put it on the tray or wooden board. When all cappellacci are ready (you should have about 180-200 of them) put into boiling water for 10 minutes.
There is a funny story about how to serve cappellacci depending on where do you eat it but I will tell you this story another time.