Who doesn’t love snuggling up with a bowl of comforting and delicious pasta in the colder months? Adding pumpkin to the mix just makes it brighter and better.
Pumpkin and pasta are a match made in heaven, but people are often at a loss as to how they can add it to their favourite recipes. From sauces to secret ingredients, here are three ways you can add this popular autumnal vegetable to make your pastas even better:
Pureed Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
Our pasta sauces often tend to mimic the Italian flag – shades of red, white and green are the first things that spring to mind. But it’s time to consider adding a little bit of orange to your repertoire. Pumpkin makes a deliciously creamy sauce and is a great alternative to carbonara. You can also add bacon, parmesan or even a hint of chilli to add more depth of flavour.
2 cloves garlic
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
¼ cup cooking cream
Pinch of salt
Heat olive oil in a pot and cook garlic for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add pumpkin and a pinch of salt to season and cook over a medium heat.
Add parmesan and cream and whisk to combine until smooth.
Cook for about 5 minutes until heated through.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta, but take it off the heat 1 minute early.
Reserve one cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
Add pasta to your pumpkin sauce and toss to combine.
Pour in ½ of the reserved water and stir over a low heat until it has evaporated or incorporated, adding more water as required. This process helps the pasta to finish cooking through and makes the sauce adhere to it better before serving.
Fresh Pumpkin Pasta
For many home cooks, making your own pasta can seem like a daunting task. But in reality, it is far simpler than you might think, requires only a small handful of ingredients and can even be achieved without buying a pasta machine. In fact, we’ll tell you how to make your homemade pasta even better – by adding pumpkin to the mix. This adds a lovely flavour to your pasta as well as a great orange colour.
2 cups 00 plain flour (plus extra for rolling the pasta)
½ cup of pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon salt
Combine your dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk together your pumpkin puree and eggs.
Form a well in the middle of the bowl of dry ingredients.
Add your pumpkin and egg mixture to the centre.
Using your fingers or whisk, slowly swirl flour into the egg mixture to combine.
Gradually mix the flour until a soft dough forms. Add more flour if it feels too wet and sticky, or drizzle in a bit of water if it feels too dry.
Cover and set aside your dough to rest for 30 minutes.
Divide dough into thirds and transfer 1/3 to a floured surface while covering the other 2/3 with a clean tea towel.
Form your pasta into a rough rectangle and roll out – sprinkling just enough extra flour to stop it from sticking (too much and your pasta will get starchy when cooked). Frequently lift it, flip it and readjust your positioning as your roll.
Fold it back over itself 3 -4 times and roll it out again – this mimics the process of using a pasta machine, removes air bubbles and helps you to get it nice and thin.
Finally, loosely fold it over 4 times and slice it into 1cm pieces (for a fettucine style pasta) and shake them out. You can also keep it flat and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut your pasta into your desired shape or thickness.
Dust with a little flour and cover with a clean tea towel until ready to cook.
Repeat the process with your remaining dough.
One of the most popular methods of enjoying pumpkin in your pasta is quite literal – stuffed inside fresh ravioli. These delicious pillows of perfection can be topped with pesto, feta and pine nuts, or a burnt butter and sage sauce. You can use store bought fresh pasta sheets or make your own using the instructions above (you can also replace the pumpkin puree with an additional egg yolk if you don’t want to double up on the pumpkin).
½ butternut pumpkin
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup feta
Preheat your oven to 220°C
Drizzle your pumpkin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake for 1 hour cut side up.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add your garlic and cook until fragrant.
Scoop cooked pumpkin out of its skin and into the garlic butter.
Add your feta and stir to combine.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Cut pasta sheets into even squares.
Add your pumpkin mixture to your pasta sheets 1 teaspoon at a time.
Brush the edges of your pasta squares with a little water, place second pasta sheets on top and press down on the edges to expel all the air and seal the edges.