Pumpkin Ravioli alla Norcina

Norcia butcher shop

Pumpkin ravioli tossed in a savory sausage cream sauce and topped with Pecorino cheese is a dish that will transport you to the Umbrian region of Italy. For centuries the town of Norcia, in the mountains of southeastern Umbria has been famous for its pork, black truffles, sausage and salumi.

Pasta alla Norcina is a traditional Italian pasta dish that is usually made with short pasta such as rigatoni or penne, crumbled Norcia sausage, onions, white wine, cream, and pecorino cheese. Often it is topped with a grating of the region’s famous black truffles. While you can serve the sausage cream sauce on just about any type of pasta, I thought the savoriness of the sausage went extremely well with the sweet taste of pumpkin stuffed ravioli. While not a colorful dish, this hearty and delicious pasta is true Italian comfort food and I think you will be pleasantly surprised how very easy it is to prepare. If you live in a large cosmopolitan city, you may be able to find Norcia sausage but if not use mild or hot Italian sausage.

Pumpkin Ravioli alla Norcina

Pumpkin Ravioli Alla Norcina

Recipe serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a first course

  • 1 or 2 Italian sausage links (depending on size), casings removed and crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp, olive oil
  • 1 small onion (1/2 c.), chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1 c. cream
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves (about 4 to 6 leaves)), or to taste
  • 1 package (about 8 – 10 oz.) fresh pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli (about 16 pieces)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Pecorino Romano cheese to taste
  • fried sage leaves for garnish, optional

Remove the meat from the sausage casings and crumble into small pieces. Using a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the crumbled sausage and cook, breaking it up into small pieces until no longer pink and starting to turn brown. Push the sausage to the edge of the pan. If the center of the pan is dry, add the olive oil (this depends on the amount of fat in the sausage). Add the onion and cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add white wine and simmer a few minutes until the wine has reduced by half. Pour in the cream, add the chopped sage and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the ravioli according to package directions until al dente. Using a skimmer, place the ravioli in the pan with the sausage cream sauce. Gently toss the pasta to evenly coat it with sauce. Add a little pasta water if the sauce is too thick, remembering that the sauce will thicken and the pasta will absorb most of it as it cools. Plate the ravioli, add a generous dusting of grated pecorino, some freshly ground black pepper and garnish with a fried sage leaf.

Italians have known tha fresh pungent sage leaves change to a subtle crispy goodness when fried in butter or olive oil and use them in many of their famous food preparations. They make a nice garnish for this pasta dish.

Fried sage leaves for a garnish can be prepared by melting a little butter over low heat. Once butter has melted, add the sage leaves and cook until the butter stops foaming and the leaves are crispy. Remove the pan from the heat to stop the cooking and place the leaves on paper towel..

In Umbria, pasta alla Norcina is made with Norcia sausages and often uses black truffles. While delicious, these ingredients are hard to find and your favorite Italian sausage will be perfect in this recipe.

Notes From The Kitchen

****

Pumpkin ravioli alla Norcina is comfort food at its best. Quick and easy to prepare, it is perfect at this busy time of the year. The savory sausage cream sauce and the slightly sweet pumpkin ravioli are a great combination. Serve the flavorful ravioli with a simple green salad and a glass of crisp white wine such as Grechetto or a Montefalco Rosso, a blend of Sangiovese and Sagrantino work well with richness of the ravioli. I hope you enjoy this pasta reminiscent of some of the tastes of Umbria.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

34 thoughts on “Pumpkin Ravioli alla Norcina

  1. It’s just as well I read this post AFTER I’d had my lunch today! Thank you for reminding me how delicious it is – I haven’t made it in ages, must be decades !!! Dear Karen, here is wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas period and all the very very best for the coming new year ! 🙂

  2. Ravioli with pumpkin or butternut squash is irresistible! I am tasting it with the sauce you share. Why is it your recipes are always right up my alley!

  3. This looks terrific! LOVE the sauce. I sometimes make this sort of ravioli with a much more austere sauce, typically a butter and herb sauce. This looks SO much better. Thanks. And happy holidays!

  4. Goodness this looks wonderful. I have to look into this norcia sausage – I haven’t heard of it, and I’ve been to Umbria! We stayed at an agriturismo vineyard and it was just heavenly! Like you, I can’t wait to travel again.

  5. Nice autumnal/winter dish! I actually have some homemade pumpkin ravioli in the freezer! This will be a great way to use them.

  6. Hi Karen, Wishing you Happy holidays and all the best for 2022, may we all get back to living some sort of normal life once more, Cheers Diane

  7. I love how you incorporate sausage in this, as so many pumpkin ravioli recipes are typically meatless. As someone married to an avowed carnivore, I can bet this would be a hit in my household.

  8. what a delicious dish! I can practically taste all the flavors in this dish. I am saving this recipe! thanks Karen!

  9. Pumpkin ravioli truly is one of the Italian comfort foods! This post reminds me of the days we spent wandering back alleys in towns all over Italy. One day we can hopefully travel again…but in the meantime, thanks for sharing this recipe to make at home. Happy New Year, Karen!!

  10. I had something similar to this at an Italian restaurant in Durango, but it didn’t have the sausage. I love that addition! Thanks for sharing.

  11. I don’t know how I missed this dish. Life picks you up like a whirlwind sometimes. The crisp sage -garnish is a new great Idea – especially with pumpkin ravioli. I have butternut squash. I will make this in the fall -again- with pumpkin and -yes- crispy sage. I have sent this on to my Facebook friends! The butcher shop is so quaint and looks like has lasted the test of time. So good you found this place ! 💘 💘 💘

  12. YOu can’t go wrong with simple Italian dishes like this one! And I’m putting this recipe on my list to make this year!

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