Pumpkin and ricotta kugel with home-made pasta

Pumpkin and ricotta kugel with home-made pasta

Elisa Watson

Kugel is a Yiddish noun meaning baked pudding or casserole; mine gets a modern makeover with home-made pasta bound by a light ricotta custard. It’s a beautiful celebratory dish. If making pasta isn’t your thing, ensure what you buy is good quality.


Quantity Ingredient
2.5kg butternut pumpkin, cut into 1-2cm cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, for seasoning


Quantity Ingredient
2 eggs
200g tipo 00 flour
or 200g plain (all-purpose) flour
semolina, for dusting

Caramelised onions

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablspoons olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
sea salt, for seasoning
1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Ricotta custard

Quantity Ingredient
400g full-cream ricotta cheese
5 eggs
250ml micro amaranth cress
200g pecorino, grated
nutmeg, grated, a pinch
sea salt, for seasoning
freshly cracked black pepper, for seasoning


  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  2. Spread the pumpkin cubes on a lined baking tray, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix until evenly coated and bake for 15–20 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender and caramelised. Remove from the oven and set aside 310 g of the pumpkin. Mash the remaining pumpkin roughly with a fork. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
  3. To make the pasta dough, combine the eggs and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly dust a surface with semolina and roll out the pasta dough to a 2 mm thickness. Cut the dough into 5 cm strips, then cut into triangles..
  5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta, in small batches, for 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl as you go, and drizzle in a little olive oil to stop the pasta sticking together.
  6. To make the caramelised onion, heat the oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt and cook very slowly for at least 20 minutes, until soft and golden. Add the sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes, until sticky and caramelised.
  7. Combine all the custard ingredients in a bowl. Add the cooked pasta and mashed pumpkin, and mix well.
  8. Line a 25 cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Pour in half the pasta mixture and dot with half the caramelised onion and roughly a third of the cubed pumpkin. Repeat with the remaining pasta, onion and another third of the pumpkin, reserving the last third.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for a further 15 minutes or until firm. Transfer to a platter, garnish with the remaining pumpkin cubes and slice into wedges to serve.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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