Pumpkin Ricotta Crunchy Pasta Snacks

I love the taste of fried pasta. One of my favorite restaurants The Backroom at Moody's serves it as a snack when you first arrive, almost like tortilla chips at a Mexican restaurant. When I was thinking about different pasta to fry, I realized rigatoni would be perfect to stuff with something. Because we are hitting peak autumn right now, I decided to do a pumpkin ricotta mixture as the filling. I used some almonds to add a nutty flavor and thicken it up a little, and added salami for a nice umami boost. These things are so snackable I couldn't stop eating them.
Pumpkin, ricotta, salami, almond, parm, oregano, black pepper, and chili flakes. Boil it first, then fry it to golden brown. If you can only find longer rigatoni, you have to cut them after the boiling phase. Then pipe the filling in. These needed to chill for about an hour before they were perfect. It allowed the filling to thicken slightly, and the pasta to soften slightly. You need to eat them within about 4 hours though, or else they get too soft. So good! an amazingly cravable snack that you can't stop eating. It's all about that hint of salami.

Pumpkin Ricotta Crunchy Pasta Snacks

  • filling
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parm
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 5 slices Salami (about 1 ounce)
  • pasta
  • rigatoni see note
  • peanut or vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. note - I found a very short and wide rigatoni pasta that was perfect for these, but if you cant find the right size, you may need to cut the pasta in half after boiling it.
  2. Mix all the filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Depending on how good your food processor is, you may need to add the nuts first to make sure they are fully incorporated. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Boil the pasta about 3 minutes less than it says on the package. It should still have a slight crunch. Strain and toss with oil to prevent it from sticking. This is where you would cut them in half if you can only find longer pasta.
  4. Bring the frying oil to about 375. You only need the oil to be about 2 inches deep.
  5. Fry the pasta in batches. The pasta is sticky for the first minute or two of frying so it's best to do this in medium batches. If they stick together, remove from the oil and separate them, then put them back in. Fry about 3-5 minutes until golden brown and not really bubbling anymore.
  6. Stand all the pasta up vertically on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Pipe the filling into the pasta making sure each one is nice and full. Put this into the fridge for 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
  7. Serve within 3 or 4 hours or the pasta will get soggy.