Cappelli durum wheat fusilli with creamed pumpkin with onion and almond granules
08 / 10 / 21
Recipe and reflections by Elena Mazzetto, Graduated in Dietetics at the University of Padua
The fact that my favourite season is Autumn has never been hidden from anyone. I simply love crispy days with all my heart, the ones that start with a jog in the countryside and my nose turning red, that continue with a hot shower and a slow breakfast (maybe with porridge) before I get to work and that end with a hot cup of tea under a light blanket while I watch one of my favourite TV series of the moment.
What I also love about autumn is the chance to go back to lighting the oven after the unbearable heat of summer. The first savoury pies, the first pumpkin, the first porridges that finally return to my table.
I recall that as a child, with autumn and school starting once again, Sundays with the family became a regular part of the week. We would be all home together and mum would cook for an army. The nice thing about it was that lunch for the next day was already ready and when there used to be leftover pasta, she would make a lovely crust: delicious.
I have always identified pasta as food that unites, but to be honest, I have always identified food as a marvellous resource that is capable of bringing people together and uniting them more and more. The moment of the meal as sacred, with the possibility of finding connections not only with oneself, but also with the people with whom the meal is shared.
We are often very distracted when we eat, with the phone in our hand, or at our desk in front of the computer, waiting for the sound of an incoming e-mail that must be replied to immediately, or still thinking of the thousands of things that need to be done once we have finished that dish, that we don’t even remember what we put in it.
How many times have you finished eating a meal and you don’t even remember having starting it? Or to realise only at the end that you haven’t even savoured the food?
Mealtime seems to almost become a waste of time amidst the billions of things that we are called upon to do in a day. But stop. Stop for a moment.
Don’t let the opportunity to experience pleasure through food slip away. After all, it is one of the best gifts that you can give yourself; don’t miss out on the possibility of sharing this moment with those close to you.
Discover the satisfaction that you can get from food if you eat what you really need, respecting yourself to come to understand what your body is always trying to tell you.
Have you ever asked yourself that what you eat is what you really want and need to eat? If you prefer a creamy or crunchy consistency? A cold or warm dish? A certain taste?
It may seem strange, but when you get the chance, start paying attention to these things, which, even if they are small, I’m sure they can make a difference. You deserve to eat what makes you feel good and what you enjoy, and I am sure that rediscovering the pleasure at table will help you get closer to how you feel.
Sharing this pleasure amplifies everything, and also fills the heart as well as the stomach.
This is how I remember those Sundays with the family when, to please everyone, my mother would prepare a simple plate of pasta, the kind you lose yourself in, the kind that nourishes the body and soul, that envelops you like a warm embrace when you feel cold inside.
Autumn calls for a slow rhythm, introspection. When it arrives, it is as though it would like to remind us to slow down and to find our rhythm, forgetting for a moment that fast pace at which the rest of the world runs.
And then autumn reminds us of pumpkin, the protagonist of one of the tastiest pasta dishes ever and which I have decided to give you today to bring some of that pleasure that I mentioned a few lines ago.
I chose Sgambaro’s Cappelli durum wheat fusilli, a shape that lends itself extremely well to be dressed with a creamy sauce like the one in this recipe. My mother often chose fusilli, I think it was one of the shapes she preferred for her pasta recipes. I like to think that we have this in common.
This type of pasta cooks very well, without overcooking or falling apart, and it tastes very good, and I say this as a lover of the spelt variety that I usually denounce with this one. Cappelli durum wheat is in fact an ancient wheat selected in Italy by the agronomist Nazareno Strampelli and which has also recently come back into vogue as a result of promising research carried out by the Policlinico Gemelli that emphasised its better digestibility compared to more modern durum wheats (link to the article > https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/4/712).
Tips: prepare more: tossed in a pan the next day; it’s superb.
Ingredients for two people
Sgambaro Cappelli Organic Label fusilli (as always, I leave the doses free, which vary according to hunger)
¼ delica pumpkin
1 small handful of cashews
1 golden onion
2 tablespoons of yeast
2 tablespoons of oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Sage (a few leaves if desired)
Cut the pumpkin into slices and bake it in the oven at 220° until it is soft. Leave it to cool down.
In the meantime, finely chop the onion and sauté it in a pan with a tablespoon of oil, then add the vinegar, sugar and pinch of salt. If desired, add a few sage leaves. Leave it soak up the flavours and add a little water, if necessary.
Boil the water and prepare the cream: blend the pumpkin (the skin is good eaten this way, don’t throw it away) together with the cashews, oil, pepper, nutmeg, salt, and yeast, and add cooking water as needed. Blend it into a smooth cream.
Toss in the pasta and, once cooked, mix it with the sauce. Finish off with the onion and almond granules.
There may be leftover cream; it will be perfect to spread on bread for bruschetta, or to stuff a piadina (flatbread) with vegetables and pulses.