For Rosh Hashana: Sacchietti pasta filled with apples, honey and cheese

This dish aspires to combine the symbols of the Jewish new year into a new and creative form. You have your apples and honey cradled in a creamy filling, and enclosed in fresh pasta dough. And the form even looks somewhat like a pomegranate. Ok, maybe if you squint.

This recipe was inspired by one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had – a pear/four cheese beggars purse served at the reception when my friend married my cousin. Ultimately, this dish is not just a holiday food; it’s certainly not a traditional holiday food (traditionally, people eat meat on the holiday, after all). It would be good whenever you decide to make it.

The flavors are mild, and the filling is creamy thanks to the ricotta and the apple. Happy New Year, people.

For about 24 dumplings (2 servings):

For the filling:
200 grams ricotta
1 green apple
10 grams Roquefort
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the pasta:
125 grams semolina flour
125 grams white flour
pinch salt
water — about 1/2 cup

Prepare the pasta dough — mix together the flour with as much water as necessary to make a stiff dough. Knead as you add water — you’ll find that the flour in the bottom of the bowl will get worked into the dough. Knead the dough for a bit — it’ll be crumbly — until it starts to hold together. Set aside to rest.

Cut and core the apple, and nuke, covered, in the microwave (you can also boil it to soften it, but I prefer the microwave). Mash it up with a fork. You can remove the pieces of peel at this point, if you want.

Mix the rest of the filling ingredients with the apple.

Take the pasta dough, knead a few times to soften, and separate it into 2-3 chunks that are small enough to work in your pasta machine. Run each chunk through the machine at the largest setting several times, folding over and repeating, and then run through on increasingly thin settings, until the pasta ribbon is 1.6 millimeters/ 1/16 of an inch thick (setting #5). Setting #6 — slightly thinner — would also be good.

If you don’t have a pasta machine, roll out the dough as thinly as possible with a rolling pin.

You can pack the filling into bundles of pasta however you wish, but here’s how I did it: The strips from your machine will be 15 cm (6 in) wide. Cut off a square, and then cut the square in half, into two rectangles approximately 15 cm by 7.5 cm (6 by 3 in) each. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of a rectangle. Pinch together the longer sides — the pasta should now be an even narrower rectangle, as opposed to a square. Now, bring together the short sides — making the pasta bundle squarish — and pinch together. Make sure there are no openings for the filling to escape. Scrunch the connection point a bit, to make the bundle a little more round (as opposed to flat and square).

Once your pasta is stuffed, boil the dumplings for several minutes until they’re cooked through. Remember, you want them to cook through at the thickest point — the place where you closed the bunch — and thus they’ll need to cook longer than the 30 seconds usually required for fresh pasta.

To serve: Drizzle with a good olive oil, and/or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and maybe a sprig of sage. Or, use a simple cream sauce.

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