Butternut Squash Cappellacci di Zucca
Butternut Squash Cappellacci di Zucca is a wonderful, traditional pasta dish with a fall flair. Butternut squash is wrapped in homemade pasta, served with crispy sage, brown butter sauce along with my addition, a little marinara.
If you’ve never made your own pasta dough and have always wanted to try, consider this the time to give it a shot! I have a step by step video showing how easy it can be – and it is much easier than you might think. Pasta made at home with loving care is so much better than store bought and actually cooks up very quickly.
For the record, this is one of my all time fall/autumn Italian pasta dishes that originates from Ferrara in the Northern Italy region of Emilia-Romagna (way up at the top of “the boot” just south of Milan).
Cappella, literally translates to hat in Italian and these cappellacci (little hats) are folded in the traditional way to resemble an Italian nun’s hat. These cute little hats are made in a similar fashion to ravioli and tortellini (< click text for a homemade recipe) and are filled with zucca violina (butternut squash). ‘Zucca’ being the general Italian term for any squash, including pumpkin.
I like to serve this dish the same way I serve my Pumpkin Ravioli, with crispy sage, butter and just a touch of marinara sauce (< click text for link). The sauce helps cut through the richness of the filling and butter.
In Italy, all stuffed pastas have different names and they are all distinguished by the shape that they are ultimately folded into. Cappellacci pasta is similar to tortellini (or tortelloni) except tortellini start with a round piece of dough and cappellacci start with square pieces.
To prepare the filling, I prefer to cut the butternut squash into cubes first, then roast them up with salt, pepper and dried sage until they’re tender. As squash is very hard when raw, cutting up any squash can be difficult so be careful and make sure you have a sharp knife. As an easier alternative, you can cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and roast each half on a baking sheet rubbed with oil, dried sage, salt and pepper (flesh-side up) at 400°F/200°C for 50-60 minutes until fork tender.