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October means the flavours of fall have arrived: if you happen to be in Italy during this month, you’ll find a wide selection of events dedicated to traditional culinary products.


That time of the year is here, when leaves turn golden and maroon, and temperatures decrease along with day light hours.

In Italy, restaurants close their patio doors, and warmer clothes come out of the closet. The new coming season is also shown with the change of foods available at markets. Bright summer foods resembling the sun in which they grew are replaced by autumn’s changing colours of red apples, yellow root vegetables, and orange pumpkins. Italians are especially aware of the seasonality, or stagionalita’, of ingredients, as the shift in market produce dictates a change in dishes served.

Italian pumpkin season runs from October to late December. Local varieties include the sweet Mantovana, which goes in the filling of typical tortelli, Marina di Chioggia with knobbly skin and sweet orange pulp, and the giant Quintale, Italy’s largest variety.

October means the flavours of fall have arrived: if you happen to be in Italy during this month, you’ll have a wide selection of events and manifestations dedicated to some of the most traditional culinary products.

In recent years, the pumpkin (“zucca” in Italian) has gained popularity and is now being recognised by more and more Italians as not only edible, but delicious (although you will still find market vendors that react with surprise if you try to buy their gourds for eating and not decorating!).

The northern part of the Italian peninsula uses pumpkin and squash in various ways: with sage in Emilia-Romagna and featured in Lombardia’s pumpkin ravioli (tortelli di zucca).

Click to discover two recipes showing you how to make the most out of your pumpkin, creating true authentic Italian traditional dishes: pumpkin tortelli and pumpkin risotto.

Mantua’s Pumpkin Tortelli (Tortelli di Zucca)

Just an hour drive from Smeg’s headquarter, in the heart of Pianura Padana, surrounded by fields and lakes, you will find the city of Mantua.

Today, Mantua is still a small town, but famous for being a Unesco World Heritage Site and for its culinary traditions. Next year, Mantua (or Mantova) will be awarded the title of 'European Capital of Gastronomy'. It's an award that's richly deserved, given Mantova's history and reputation for producing some of the most acclaimed cuisine not just in Italy, but in the world.

The food of Mantova has been regarded as the “cuisine of princes and people”. One of the most iconic dishes of Mantova is pumpkin tortelli – a classic meal that draws on the old Northern Italian tradition of stuffing pasta with tasty ingredients.

The egg pasta is traditionally filled with boiled pumpkin, parmesan cheese, mustard, nutmeg and amaretti – although there are other seasoning variants such as a butter-based sauce with onion and tomato. This mixture of flavours allows for a delightful and varied taste: you get the sweet pumpkin, the spice of the mustard and the salty balance brought in by the cheese.

Inspired by Italians love for tortelli, Smeg has just launched its SMRM01 ravioli maker, enabling you to try dishes at home.

Pumpkin Risotto (Risotto alla Zucca)

Risotto alla Zucca can be made with either butternut squash or pumpkin (the term zucca refers to either-or).

Since it is mainly prepared when squash are in season and at the peak of their flavour, it requires few other flavourings or ingredients, following the general Italian method of simple and fresh cooking.

It is the perfect meal for a chilly night, a hearty, healthy comfort food that can be eaten by itself or served as a primo course, perfectly accompanying a secondo of beef.

The next time you are at the market or grocery store, pick up a butternut squash or pumpkin and try this recipe for pumpkin risotto.