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Pumpkin Ravioli


1 small - medium white or pie pumpkin (about 2½ pounds)
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Gray salt and freshly groundpepper
Ravioli dough or 3/4 pound sheet pasta purchased from local Italian delicatessen
Flour for dusting board


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds. Spread 1 tablespoon molasses in the cavity. Season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a roasting pan. Cook in the oven until very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature and scoop out flesh into the work bowl of a food processor. Purée pumpkin until smooth, then spread on a baking sheet and return to the 375 degree oven to dry, about 10 minutes. The consistency will be like mashed potatoes. Scrape into a large mixing bowl.

Heat the butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat until it begins to brown. Immediately remove from heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon molasses and all vinegar. Add to pumpkin with mascarpone, Parmesan, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well. The recipe can be made ahead to this point (makes 2 cups filling). Cover well and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 2 days.

To fill the raviolis: Lay out a sheet of pasta dough on a lightly floured board. Cut into circles with a 3½ inch pastry cutter. Put 1 tablespoon pumpkin filling in the center of half the rounds using either a pastry bag or a small spoon. Leave a 1/2-inch border all around the filling. Moisten borders with water and top with remaining rounds of dough. Press all the air out and seal firmly by pressing all around with fingertips. Lay raviolis out to dry on a lightly floured board or baking sheet and lightly four the tops. Repeat until you run out of dough and/or filling. To cook, boil in lightly salted water until tender, about 3 minutes.

Uncooked, filled raviolis may be used immediately or frozen for 2 months. Lay them out on sheet pans and place in freezer until frozen. Transfer to plastic bag.

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