Autumn has to be a chef’s favorite season. Why? Quite simply because it’s “Harvest Time”!
Not only is it a beautiful time of the year, it also brings with it many ingredients that we definitely don’t see any other time of the year, especially pumpkins! Pumpkins are the “King of the Fall Harvest”!
As a chef, pumpkins are my number one choice to incorporate into Autumn menu-planning. These festive, orange “barrels of fun” help celebrate the changing of the season and connect wholeheartedly with the great positive energy autumn brings with it each year.
Tip: It’s a fact – Pumpkins are not only delicious and fun, but are also packed with fantastic nutrients! So, this autumn incorporate pumpkin into your daily diet and begin to benefit from the healthy aspects of all pumpkins and gourds. Here in this post I share a delicious and quick pasta dish that not only contains pumpkin in the sauce, but also contains pumpkin in the actual dough. Therefore delivering a one-two punch of pumpkin goodness!
Pumpkin Fettuccine Tossed in a Sage Butter Sauce
Pumpkin Pasta Dough ( 2 lbs.)
- Pumpkin puree – 2/3 cup ( cooked and pureed pumpkin or squash of your liking. Or, can substitute canned pumpkin puree
- Eggs – 4 (large)
- Flour – 4 1/2 cups – “00” or all-purpose
- Semolina – 4 tablespoons
- Salt – 1 teaspoon Kosher or fine sea salt
- Nutmeg – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
- Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon ( optional)
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the pumpkin, eggs and spices together.
- Put 4 cups flour, the semolina flour and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Attach the dough hook to combine the ingredients.
- Add the pumpkin-egg mixture and briefly mix on medium speed to obtain a crumbly mixture. Scrape down bowl and mix again for 5-8 minutes to obtain a dough ball.
- Now turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and cut the dough in fourths. Knead until each dough ball is soft and pliable.
- If the mixture seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil and mix in . If it seems too sticky, add some additional flour very sparingly and work in a little at a time.
- Wrap the dough ball with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to rolling.
To make the Fettuccine:
- Once the dough has lost its “chill” you may proceed in stretching it.
Flatten a ball of dough with you hands or rolling-pin.
Then feed it through the widest setting on a pasta machine to begin the rolling and stretching process.You are aiming for a perfect rectangle.
After each pass sprinkle the dough with a little flower and to prevent sickness.
Typically, you want to stretch the dough to a number 6 on a pasta maker. Or, until you can begin to see your hand through the dough.
- Once at this stage cut sections of the stretched dough into 7-8 inch pieces.
- Place on your work surface and lightly flour and cover with a kitchen towel.
- Repeat process with the rest of the dough.
- Attach your fettuccine cutter and begin to cut the pasta. Lightly dust the pasta strands with a mixture of flour and fine semolina
- Allow pasta to slightly dry on a pasta rack or shaped into little nests on your work surface.
- Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
To cook the pumpkin or squash:
- Cut a small dice of your favorite pumpkin and/or squash. Sauté off quickly in a little butter to lightly color the pieces.
- Reserve the dice until ready to assemble the dish.
To make the sage butter sauce: ( this sauce should be made simultaneously while the pasta is cooking)
Use a stick of butter, 4 fresh sage leaves and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese for 2 people.
Add the pasta to rapidly boiling salted water and stir through ( pasta will take no more that 3-4 min to cook)
Place a sauté pan large enough to hold the pasta over a medium flame.
- Add the butter, sage, pumpkin dice and increase the heat to medium-high. (reserve some pumpkin for garnishing the dish)
- As the butter begins to melt and froth… swirl the pan to insure that the butter melts evenly.
- At this point you need to move fast!
Reserve about a cup up pasta water and then drain the pasta. Quickly add the pasta to the sauce and then add 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water along with 1-2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Toss vigorously over the heat to create an emulsion sauce with the butter, pasta water and cheese.
Remove the sage leaves and taste for seasoning. If needed, add some salt and white pepper to taste. Toss through.
The pasta should be totally coated in a creamy sauce at this point and the pasta should move easily in the pan.
If not, the sauce is too thick; loosen the pasta with a little more of the reserved pasta water.
Tip: Serve immediately garnished with the reserved pumpkin dice, fresh sage leaves and topped with a little Parmesan or Ricotta Salata. Delicious!