Pasta Roll with Squash, Spinach and Ricotta

Gosh, I love this weather! :) It's real indian summer with bright blue sky and almost 25°C (felt). At the end of the week we're packing our bags and heading of to Firenze in Italy. I'm really excited to see the tuscan landscape and enjoying some nice vino with traditional italian food... and maybe some gelato, too... ha!

For this occsasion I'm sharing today a recipe I tried just yesterday. It's a pasta roll filled with butternut squash, ricotta and spinach. The roasted squash is really good and I ate it today on it's own - yum! It's a little on the time-consuming side but give it a try, it's really worth it.

Pastar Roll Filled with Squash, Spinach & Ricotta  
serves 4 - adapted from Jamie Oliver - Jamie's Italian

1 recipe fresh pasta dough (see recipe below)
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and deseeded - cut into big cubes
800g spinach, fresh or frozen
150g Ricotta
250g butter
50g freshly grated parmesan
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried majoram
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 dried red chilli (I used a whole one, I like it pretty hot)
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
20 fresh sage leaves
olive oil
salt & pepper

After preparing the dough heat up your oven to 220°C (430°F). To make the seasoning for the squash, grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, the dried chili with some coarse sea salt and black pepper in a mortar or food processor. Place the squash cubes in a ovenproof baking dish and give it a rub with some olive oil and the prepared seasoning. Cover with some moistened parchment paper and bake in the oven around 30 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes until golden. Meanwhile heat up a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic, majoram and oregano. When the spices are sizzeling heat up to high heat and add the spinach. Cook until no liquid remains. Season with the nutmeg, salt, pepper and add 1-2 tbsp of butter. Set aside and let cool down a little.

Take your prepared dough and roll with a rolling pin into a rectangle in the size of a clean kitchen towl. Now place it carefully on a kitchen towl and turn so the longer side is facing you. Place the squash in a line on the lower rim. Sprinkle the spinach over the remaining dough, leaving a free space approx. 5cm to the upper rim. Scoop the ricotta over the spinach and sprinkle with parmesan. Brush the upper rim of the dough with water and form a roll starting with the lower side, wrapping the role in the towel and secure both ends with kitchen yarn.
Place in a large pot with boiling salted water and make sure that the whole roll is covered with water. Cook for 25 minutes.

Put the butter in a ovenproof bowl and melt in the oven at 80°C (175°F)  around 10-15 minutes. Discard the white flakes on top and spoon the clear butter into a clean bowl. Discard the white remains at the bottom of the bowl. Take 5 tbsp of the clarified butter and heat it to high heat in a small pot.  Fry the sage leaves until crisp.

Remove the pasta roll from the pot, unwrap and cut into slices. Arrange on plates, spoon over some sage butter and top with the crispy sage leaves and some more grated parmesan.

Pasta Dough

600g flour (Tipo '00' is recommended, I used 450)
6 eggs

Grab a large bowl and add flour and eggs. Whisk together with a fork, then kneed it with your hand until a silky smooth ball forms. Wrap in cling film and chill at least 30 minutes.

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