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Squash Mezzalune with Creamy Saffron Sauce

For the filling...

Toss 16 ounces frozen butternut and 16 ounces frozen kabocha squash in a mix of salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and olive oil until evenly distributed. Roast at 400 degrees F for ~25 minutes until completely cooked through and very tender. Allow the squash to cool completely and make your usual egg pasta dough or a pumpkin pasta dough (recipe below). While the dough rests, combine the squash with ½ cup parmigiano reggiano, ½ cup whole milk ricotta, and 4 tablespoons of cooled (but still liquid) brown butter in a food processor. Pulse until thick and very smooth; season to taste and keep refrigerated until use. (This makes a lot of filling so it may be worth making extra pasta to freeze for later!)

For the dough…

Blend 100 grams pumpkin puree with ~3 eggs for a total of ~250 grams liquid; separately, combine 400 grams 00 flour and 50 grams semola flour. Using the well method, gradually incorporate the flour into the egg mixture with a fork and, once mostly combined, with a bench scraper. Knead vigorously until smooth and firm, about 10-15 minutes. Note that the pumpkin may make this dough softer than a traditional egg dough. Wrap tightly and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

For the mezzalune…

Roll out a portion of the dough into a thin sheet (setting 6 or 7 on my Marcato/KitchenAid). Using a glass or cookie cutter, cut ~3” rounds and add about a teaspoon of filling to the center of each. Then fold each circle in half over the filling to create the mezzalune. Press out any air pockets and seal tightly. If needed, brush the edges of the circle with a small amount of water to help seal. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and repeat!

For the sauce…

Steep a generous pinch of saffron in ¼ cup hot water for 10-15 minutes. Simmer ½ cup white wine in a skillet over medium heat until reduced by about ⅔, 5-8 minutes. Swirl in 3 tablespoons room-temperature butter one at a time, stirring constantly to emulsify. Follow with ½ cup heavy cream and the saffron (with steeping liquid) and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and swirl in one more tablespoon of butter.

Finishing touches…

Cook mezzalune in well-salted water. Transfer directly to the pan and spoon sauce over to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!


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