I have to admit I fell in love a bit with this recipe when I heard that pansotti means “pot bellies” in Italian! I have also really been enjoying walnuts in pasta dishes lately – remember the post using California walnuts with the butternut squash and walnut sauce on homemade pasta?
I am so pleased Neil learned to make pasta at one of his Culinary Arts Italian cuisine classes – it’s amazing how easy it it is and it’s so satisfying! We were fortunate enough to have the use of a pasta roller on loan from one of his colleagues and we set to using some ingredients we had on hand to make the little pot bellied pasta.
The filling is basically puréed butternut squash, toasted walnuts, pancetta and some parsley:
And I tried to make them as “belly-like” as possible…
They turned out marvellously – so flavourful and tasty with great texture from the walnuts. I served them with a little olive oil drizzled over, some flat leaf parsley, grated parmesan and some crushed walnuts. This recipe (or adaptations of it) is definitely a keeper.
Walnut, butternut squash and pancetta pansotti filling
Recipe adapted from Epicurious (March 2002) Walnut and Pancetta Pansoti with Asparagus in Parmesan Broth
1 (3-ounce) piece pancetta (Italian unsmoked cured bacon; not lean), finely chopped (2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts (2 ounces), finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly black pepper to taste
Make pansotti filling:
Cut butternut squash in halves, oil and salt and pepper the cut halves. Roast squash at 350F for about 45 minutes or until “scoopable”. Scoop out flesh and set aside.
Cook pancetta in oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fat is rendered, 10 to 12 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is well browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a bowl. Stir in cooled butternut squash flesh, walnuts, parsley, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper into mixture in bowl. Cool filling.