I’ve always wanted to go to Italy, but that’s not happening any time in the near future, so I’ll make up for it by making pasta from scratch! I was inspired by a butternut squash and sage pasta I had a while ago, which was delicious, so I wanted to come up with my own recipe for this! I can’t say I’m at the same level of pasta mastery as Italians, but it turned out quite tasty and was really easy to make!
This recipe only really needs two ingredients - butternut squash and flour! And of course, herbs and spices for flavoring! You could use pumpkin puree or mashed sweet potato instead of the butternut squash for a variation! The sage is a great flavor addition to the butternut squash, but you could use whatever spices you like! To make this gluten-free, you could substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour. Making the pasta dough, kneading it, and cutting it into noodles is actually a pretty relaxing and creative process, and it’s a great cooking activity to do with a friend (or as an Italian-themed date night)!
Note: When cutting the noodles, make sure you have a clean, flat surface that will not be damaged by using a knife on it - I used my countertop. Also, be gentle when stirring while they cook to try to preserve the longer noodles. I say this from experience because I wasn’t very gentle and accidentally chopped a lot of the noodles in half! They still turned out well though, but if you want the classic twirlable noodle, this is best to do to keep them long.
Makes 3-4 servings
1 ½ cup cooked, mashed butternut squash (see below for how to cook it)
1 ½ cup flour (I used white whole wheat)
Dash of: garlic, salt, and turmeric (optional but adds more orange color)
Fresh sage leaves to garnish
To cook the butternut squash:
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss with 1-2 tbsp olive oil, a handful of chopped sage, dashes of: thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking oil. Spread the squash on the sheet evenly in one layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the squash is soft.
Before and after baking the squash
To make the pasta:
1. Mash the butternut squash - you can use a blender or food processor to do this more evenly. Add in the flour and spices, and mix until evenly combined.
2. Add flour to a clean, flat surface and your hands. Place the dough on top, and knead it for a few minutes.
3. Roll the dough out flat, until it is the thickness of your desired pasta noodles. You may need to sprinkle more flour on the surface or dough to keep it from sticking.
4. Slice the flattened dough lengthwise into noodles - I cut them a bit thicker than spaghetti noodles.
5. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stovetop. Shake the flour off the noodles as much as you can (it’s fine if some is left), and add to the water.
6. Cook the pasta noodles for 5-7 minutes until cooked, stirring gently, testing one every so often to check for when they are done. They will have the texture of egg noodles, if you’ve ever had those.
7. Add to a strainer, and rinse with cold water. Enjoy with more butternut squash, and some fresh sage as a garnish!