Monday 16 November
Back in summer, Barbara threw a handful of Long Island Cheese pumpkin seeds into the garden to see what they would do. They sprouted luxuriant vines, and despite the late start, they even produced one little, and one even littler, pumpkin. She picked them to serve as table decorations at Halloween, but we wanted to see if they were edible. So one evening while the oven was hot, we halved and roasted them, and to our delight, the insides were sweet and light-flavored.
What to make with the tiny tub of pumpkin guts? Amazingly, a few basil leaves had sprouted on the stems Barbara left in the garden after the grand pesto harvest. So she snipped the stems, kept them in a vase, and today we had the makings of a new take on ravioli di zucca.
We ran the pumpkin through the robot-coupe with one eggyolk, a good deal of grated asiago cheese, and sprinkles of nutmeg, salt, and white pepper, instead of the usual amaretti crumbs. We wanted it savory, not sweet.
We had also defrosted a packet of our fresh pasta dough, so we rolled it out - it was still nice and stretchy - laid out the ravioli, and filled them with the yellow pumpkin mixture.
While they boiled, we melted a panful of butter, and when the ravioli were done, tossed them in the pan and scattered them with the fresh basil leaves instead of toasted sage.
The ravioli turned out to be squirty like soup dumplings, with a pure and herbaceous flavor under the sunburst of butter and basil. Though totally the result of garden accidents, I would expect to see this on new bistro menus at $30 a plate.