Chef’s Recipe: Ravioli alla Mantovana

We love Pasta, and as such we thought that the lovers of authentic Italian food amongst you might like to try making Ravioli alla Mantovana, an extraordinary dish from Mantua and Ferrara that originated in the Renaissance period. 

Ravioli alla Mantovana

The first mentions of this recipe can be found in books published by culinary chefs like Christopher Messisbugo that translated the recipe from the first half of the 16th century when it was called “THE TURTELL MODENES.” Over the years the recipe has been adapted several times to allow for combinations as diverse as sausage with tomato sauce.

From area to area the pasta used also changes its name and may be capellaccio or tortello, classically shaped and crescent-shaped, or closed pasta such as a classic tortellini, but always a thin and fresh egg pasta.

This particular recipe has been created by Andrea Chin, the talented Italian chef who prepares wonderful regional Italian cuisine every day on board La Bella Vita, our 20 passenger vessel which cruises from Venice to Mantua. It is a dish that always gets top marks from our guests whenever he serves it. Buon appetito!

Ingredients

  • 300g Flour
  • 4 Fresh Eggs
  • 1 Small Pumpkin
  • 10g Amaretti
  • 100g Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 100g Butter
  • Sage
  • 1 Spoonful of Apple Mustard
  • Black Pepper

Method

  1. Wash the pumpkin and bake it whole in the oven until it is cooked through (around 30 mins depending on the size of the pumpkin).
  2. Remove the skin, seeds and pass the chopped pumpkin flesh through a strainer to obtain a puree.
  3. In a bowl mix the pumpkin with amaretti and a little finely grated Parmesan, the apple mustard and a generous grinding of black pepper.
  4. Leave to rest for a few hours to cool so that the flavors are fused well together.
  5. Put the flour on a clean work surface and form a ring, then add the egg yolks, a pinch of salt and a little olive oil. Mixture together gently with the hands to form a dough. Knead the dough vigorously for about ten minutes until it has a smooth texture and is not sticky.
  6. Let the dough rest for about twenty minutes, then roll it out very thinly.
  7. Cut the dough into round disks about 8 cm across and spoon some of the pumpkin stuffing onto the centre of each disk.
  8. Fold each disk in half and seal the edges
  9. Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes (depending on how finely you spread the pumpkin stuffing)
  10. Serve with a little melted butter on top, flavoured with a few sage leaves and some grated Parmesan

Serves 4

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