Nick Anderer, executive chef at Maialino, Danny Meyer’s Roman-style trattoria in the Gramercy Park Hotel in NYC, recently joined the long list of masters to teach a class at De Gustibus at Macy’s Herald Square. Anderer showcased dishes from his menu, including this Agnolotti di Zucca recipe, which puts seasonal squash (or when not available, store-bought pumpkin puree) to use in a ravioli-like pasta pillow. While it’s not easy to make — especially if you don’t have a KitchenAid with a pasta roller attachment — it’s a fun dish to try at home if you have skills and some curiosity.
In the De Gustibus class, where students watch a chef prepare a dish in a kitchen outfitted with mirrors to showcase technique, Anderer did a step-by-step take on how to make the squash puree and turn the fresh pasta sheets into rows of mini raviolis. Then he made the butter-sage sauce. Then De Gustibus’ team served samples to each attendee, and a hush fell over the classroom; we think we may have even heard someone bite into a toasted sage leaf.
For a complete fall schedule and to sign up for upcoming classes visit the De Gustibus site.
For the Filling
- 42 ounces Delicata squash, roasted puree *
- 14 ounces ricotta
- 2 ounces grated pecorino romano (preferably fulvi)
- 1 teaspoon ground chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the Dough
- 2 cups '00' flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 14 yolks
- 1 - 2 teaspoons water
For the Sauce
- 1 large pot of salted, boiling water
- 20 small sage leaves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 ounce pasta cooking water
- Grated pecorino romano (fulvi) to taste
- 2 teaspoons aceto tradizionale balsamic vinegar
*Store-bought pumpkin puree can be substituted, but delicata squash makes a beautiful, naturally sweet puree. Cut delicata squash lengthwise in half, brush with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place flesh side down on an oiled parchment lined sheet pan. Cover with foil and cook in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the flesh softens. Allow to cool until easy to handle by hand, scoop out the insides with a large spoon and place in a food processor to create the puree. Keep in mind that in order to yield 42 ounces of puree, you’ll need twice that amount in raw product.
To make the Filling:
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a spatula until all the ricotta is fully incorporated.
- Transfer to a piping bag and set aside in the refrigerator.
To make the Ravioli dough:
- In a KitchenAid or motorized mixer, use the paddle attachment to combine all the ingredients – start on the lowest speed and slowly increase as the flour and yolks begin to incorporate.
- Mix for several minutes or until the dough begins to cleanly pull away from the sides of the bowl – remove and knead by hand for 3 minutes – wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour to rest.
- Using a mechanized pasta roller (kitchen aid has an attachment), roll the pasta until you can see your hand through the dough.
- Using a piping bag, form one long tube of filling along the length of the dough – lightly brush with a moistened brush – fold over the dough and use your fingers to pinch off sections of filling.
- Using a ruffled cutter, cut out the agnolotti.
To make the Sauce:
- Place a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add butter and sage – the butter should sizzle with sage and begin to turn brown.
- Once it becomes dark brown, remove from heat for 30 seconds and carefully (away from any flame) add the freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon to the butter – it will sizzle aggressively and stop browning.
- Add 40 pieces of ravioli to the water and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove ravioli and 4 tablespoons water from the pot – add to the sautee pan and simmer together for 1 minute. Sprinkle with pecorino and serve, garnishing with a light drizzle of aceto tradizionale.