academia barilla  November 2008

Thanksgiving Recipes from our Chef Network: Pasta Hats with Pumpkin and Sage, by Chef Tony Mantuano

As we announced yesterday, we have a full schedule of gourmet recipes [...]

Italian Food Lovers Chef NetworkAs we announced yesterday, we have a full schedule of gourmet recipes for your Thanksgiving meal, provided by the great Chefs who joined our Italian Food Lovers Chef Network. Today we start the series of blog posts with a delicious recipe by Chef Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia Restaurant in Chicago: Cappellacci di Zucca con Salvia (Pasta Hats with Pumpkin and Sage).

The recipe is included in Tony and Cathy Mantuano’s cookbook “The Spiaggia Cookbook – Eleganza Italiana in Cucina“, which is available online at Amazon and Barnes&Noble. Chef Mantuano customized this recipe for us adding a few gourmet products from the Academia Barilla Italian food specialty collection, as you can see from the ingredients’ list below.

As described by Chef Mantuano in the Spiaggia cookbook:

This dish may well become a family favorite, especially at Thanksgiving, when pumpkins are in season. The filling has a sweet-and-savory flavor that pairs well with turkey, goose, or duck. Whenever we serve this dish to customers and friends who have never tried it, the raves are loud and clear. This stuffed pasta yields hearty portions, and we suggest serving it with a robust red wine.

A recipe by Chef Tony Mantuano
(serves 6 to 8)



- 1 pie pumpkin, about 2 pounds (about 2 cups purée after roasting)
- 1/3 cup mostarda, coarsely chopped (see notes)
- 1 1/4 cups dried bread crumbs
- 1 1/4 cups grated Academia Barilla Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 cup amaretti cookies, finely ground
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Academia Barilla Natural Sicilian Sea Salt with Orange Zest and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- basic pasta dough (you can also use premade pasta sheets from your local grocery store)
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 16 fresh sage leaves
- more grated Academia Barilla Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. To make the filling: Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.

Arrange, cut sides down, on an aluminum foil-lined or nonstick baking sheet roast until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and place in a blender or food processor. Add the mostarda and process to a purée.

Transfer to a bowl and add the bread crumbs, cheese, cookie crumbs, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Roll out the pasta dough into thin sheets. Working with one sheet at a time, cut the pasta into 3-inch squares. Place each square on a lightly floured board or cloth and let dry 5 minutes.

To fill, place a dough square in front of you on the diagonal, so you are facing a diamond shape. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle of the diamond. Lightly spray the pasta with water and bring the bottom point of the diamond to the top point.


Press the pasta together to form a triangle, working out from the filling. Trim the 2 unfolded sides of the pasta triangle with a crimped pastry wheel, and then fold the side points of the pasta forward and press to join them together in a “bishop’s hat” shape. Repeat with the remaining dough and filing.

Stand the finished cappellacci to dry for about 5 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat; do not let the butter brown. Stir in the sage leaves. Set aside and keep warm over very low heat.

Add the cappellacci to the boiling water and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 3 to 5 minutes after they rise to the top.

Remove with a slotted spoon and carefully transfer to the warm butter and sage sauce. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the pasta to marry with the sauce and absorb some of it.

To serve, divide the cappellacci among 8 warmed plates and top with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.


Mostarda is a candied fruit, such as pears, apricots, and cherries, mixed with white mustard and sugar syrup. More sweet than piquant, mostarda adds dimension to the pumpkin filling. It is also used with boiled meats and in confections. You can find mostarda in Italian specialty stores or online.

The cappellacci can be assembled in advance and frozen. Arrange them, not touching, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour. Freeze until hard, about 20 minutes. Transfer to zippered plastic bag and freeze for up to 1 month.

Thank you Chef Mantuano for your delicious recipe and for the precious Chef tips. We know Chef Tony Mantuano is getting a Christmas recipe ready to be served to our Italian food lovers next month, and we look forward to it!

Don’t forget to stay with us all week for daily gourmet Thanksgiving recipes from our Chef Network!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply