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Recipe: Butternut Squash Cappellacci

butternutsquashpasta
West Hollywood's RivaBella restaurant, with Luigi Fineo heading up the kitchen, is Tuscan-inspired. (In food, anyway -- in design, it's pure Westside flash, just with more bricks.) Here's one of their pasta dishes: cappellacci are little pasta dumplings, similar to ravioli but folded in a fancier manner. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Cappellacci
Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the dough
300gr egg yolk
300gr flour
300gr semolina

For the filling
1 each butternut squash
Fresh garlic
Fresh thyme
Olive oil
Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese
Nutmeg
Bread crumbs
Sage

Filling (make while dough rests)
Preheat oven to 425° with oven rack in middle.

Cut butternut squash in half and brush the cut side with olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Roast in a shallow baking pan, cut side facing up until golden brown and tender, approximately 30-45 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Then use a spoon to scoop out flesh, transferring to a medium bowl and discarding the rind. Stir in cheese, nutmeg, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

Dough
Mix dough ingredients together. Once dough is combined, quarter dough and wrap 3 rounds of dough with plastic wrap. Pat out remaining piece into a flat rectangle; dust with flour.

Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Feed a rectangle, short side first, through rollers. Fold rectangle in thirds, like a letter, and feed it through the rollers short side first. Repeat 6 or 7 more times, folding dough in thirds and feeding it through the rollers short side first each time to prevent sticking.

Turn dial to next (more narrow) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding, short side first. Continue to feed dough through without folding, making space between the rollers more narrow each time, until the second or third narrowest setting is used. Do not roll pasta out too thin or pasta will tear when filled.

Put pasta sheet on a lightly floured surface and cut into 3-inch squares. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in center of each square. Lightly moisten edges of square with water and fold in half to form a triangle, pressing down firmly but gently around filling to seal and force out any air. Bring the 2 opposite corners together, overlapping ends to make a small ring and press corners together. Transfer to a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth). Make more cappellacci with remaining pieces of dough and remaining filling and transferring to a kitchen towel.

Cooking Cappellacci
Cook cappellacci in a pasta pot of simmering salted water (2 tablespoons of salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Gently strain pasta.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a heavy medium skillet over media heat, swirling until golden brown. Add and cook the sage, stirring until sage is crisp and butter is deep golden brown. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add sauce to pasta. Top with prosciutto or lardo, as shown in the picture, if you like.

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