By now you’ve probably been inundated with pumpkin this and pumpkin that, but I'm not done embracing the delicious and versatile nature of this seasonal fruit, so I hope you'll bear with me and come along for the read.
Last month, I wrote about pumpkin as a sweet ingredient, but this month I'm going to even the pumpkin patch playing field and share a recipe featuring pumpkin as a savory ingredient.
If you have read some of my previous blogs, then you already know that I am in love with pasta. Like desert island in love. So, it was only natural that I unite my favorite food and pumpkin for a match made in heaven. When most people think about joining pasta and pumpkin they imagine ravioli, but I'm changing things up a bit here and making a pumpkin-flavored pasta dough from scratch!
Making fresh pasta is actually much easier than you think as you can see in this video, which is why I love teaching our Pasta Workshop class. To see my students have that "ah ha!" moment in class is so much fun to watch.
Fresh Pasta Dough
Yield: 3-4 servings
Active time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 40 minutes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup semolina
1 to 2 tablespoons water
- Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
- Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon water, and process until well combined.
- Test dough to make sure it will hold together. If it is dry, add up to a tablespoon more water as needed to make the dough moist but not sticky.
- Turn dough out and knead for 1 to 2 minutes until the dough is smooth.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic, and allow it to rest at least 20 minutes.
- Roll out in a pasta maker until smooth, then roll into sheets and cut into desired noodles.
- To cook and serve, plunge into rapidly boiling salted water, cook until tender, about 2 minutes, and serve at once with your favorite sauce.
Note: Pasta dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Allow to come up to room temperature before rolling out. Pasta that has been rolled and shaped can be frozen. You can also set shaped pasta out on towels until completely dry, and then it can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Making fresh pasta dough in a food processor is definitely the quickest way to whip up a batch, but you can also easily make it by hand, too.
In order to transform our recipe into a pumpkin-lovers pasta, I added ½ cup of canned pumpkin puree to the ingredients, and voila! Tip: If the dough seems a bit tacky from the addition of the pumpkin puree, add a touch more flour as needed.
Once the dough was made, and had rested for about 20 minutes, my family got in on the action and rolled the dough into sheets through our pasta machine.
I usually never go up to the highest number on the dial (the higher the number the thinner the sheets), because I like my pasta bit thicker but you can be the judge of that.
Once the sheets were rolled out to our liking, we used the fettuccine cutter to cut the sheets into perfect noodles. Tip: Be sure to flour your sheets before you put them through the fettuccine cutter to prevent them from sticking together. You'll also want to lightly flour your cut noodles.
Now that the noodles were made, it was time to prepare the sauce. I really wanted the flavor of the pasta to shine through, so I kept the sauce simple and went with a brown butter sauce. It's the toasting of the milk solids in the butter that makes this sauce so incredible! There's a fine line between toasting and burning, so be sure to watch your butter closely.
As soon as you see little brown bits on the bottom of your pan, remove it from the heat. Finish the sauce with a splash of lemon juice to balance the fattiness of the butter, add some freshly chopped sage, thyme or rosemary, and season with salt and pepper to taste. That's it!
Sage Brown Butter Sauce
Yield: 1/2 cup
Active time: 5 minutes
Start to finish: 5 minutes
1 stick butter
8 fresh sage leaves
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan cheese for garnish
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter and cook until it just starts to brown.
- Add the sage leaves, being careful because they will pop, and remove from the heat.
- Season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Toss your al dente noodles with the brown butter sauce, and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve this dish with a fall salad comprised of kale, apples and hazelnuts dressed with an apple cider vinaigrette for a lovely, seasonal dinner.
Come get your hands on fresh pasta this fall at The Chopping Block! Pasta classes on our November and December calendars include Pasta Workshop and Old School Italian. We even have classes for young chefs that feature fresh pasta this December, including our Kids’ and Teens’ Mini Winter Camps. And this Sunday, we're offering Pasta Boot Camp at our Lincoln Square location. This day-long hands on class is a deep dive into pasta making techniques using a roller and shaping by hand as well as three different types of pasta doughs and some heavenly sauces to accompany them.