For the Filling:
1 medium Acorn Squash or pumpkin (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano (plus more for serving) can use Pecorino Romano
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste – thyme leaves are also a nice touch
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut acorn squash in half, and scoop out seeds and puncture a few times. Place in a baking dish cut side down drizzled with olive oil. Roast in oven until soft, about 40 minutes to an hour. Allow to cool slightly, then scoop into bowl.
Add the extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Your sauce options:
Pesto in the food processor
Basil – as big a bunch as will fit in your food processor- (leaves only, wiped clean with a damp paper towel)- I used 4 bags
4 cloves of garlic, peeled- peel them easily by banging your palm against the flat of a knife on the garlic clove-skin comes right off
½ cup parmigiano cheese-grated
½ cup pecorino romano cheese –grated ( you can use one cheese or a combination of cheeses- whatever you have at home or prefer. Pecorino is the saltier one and parmigiano the pungent one
1/3 cup – EVOO – extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
salt and pepper
First blend garlic cloves in food processor, then basil, then cheeses. And pine nuts- save half to sprinkle on top whole
Add evoo until blended into a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may need to add more if it is too thick. To store, put in a glass jar covered with a layer of evoo. When you use the saved pesto, discard the top oil and add fresh if needed.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
1 small onion chopped- if you like garlic throw in 4 cloves sliced
2 pounds ripe tomatoes or 1, 14 oz. can whole Italian plum tomatoes
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2T chopped fresh parsley or basil or whatever you like better!
Heat the oil and gently cook the onion until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook quickly until most of the juice has evaporated. Put through a food mill or use immersion blender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Gorgonzola Cream Sauce- great on squash ravioli, potato gnocchi or as a dip
4 cups heavy cream- best if not ultra pasteurized
3 to 4 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola (not creamy or “dolce”)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or basil or whatever you have! Even great without herbs!
Bring the heavy cream to a full boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then continue to boil rapidly for 45 to 50 minutes, until thickened like a white sauce, stirring occasionally.
Off the heat, add the Gorgonzola, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and parsley. Whisk rapidly until the cheeses melt and serve warm. If you must reheat, warm the sauce over low heat until melted, then whisk vigorously until the sauce comes together
FRESH PASTA DOUGH- RAVIOLI OR SPAGHETTI OR ANYTHING!
MAKES 3 LONG STRIPS FOR ABOUT 30 RAVIOLI OR A POUND OF PASTA
2 cups unbleached flour and 3 large room temperature eggs, beaten- that’s it!
Pulse flour in bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade to evenly distribute. Add eggs; process until dough forms a rough ball, about 30 seconds. (If dough resembles small pebbles, add water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time; if dough sticks to side of a bowl, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until dough forms a rough ball.)
Turn dough ball and small bits out onto a dry work surface; knead until dough is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Cut about 1/3 of dough from ball and flatten into a disk; rewrap remaining dough . Run dough through widest setting of a manual pasta machine. Without folding, run pasta through widest setting about two more times, until dough is smooth. If at any point dough is sticky, lightly dust with flour. Continue to run dough through machine; narrow the setting each time, until you use last setting on machine, and outline of your hand is visible through dough sheet. You can also roll out dough with rolling pin and cut it how you like.
Lay the long strip down- should be about 4 inches wide. Place 1 tsp. of filling 1¼ apart along one side of pasta. Fold pasta over- sealing and pressing out the air. Cut ravioli apart and lay on floured baking sheet covered with damp towel. Drop into gently boiling salted water and cook until floating