The kitchen is one of my happy places. Whether I’m having a bad day or a great one, I love the feeling of standing in front of a mise en place of incredible ingredients and making art. When I was younger I read a novel in which the main character cooks with her own innate magic infused into her dishes and people feel things- love, sorrow, forgiveness. I haven’t read the book since high school (it is called Garden Spells if you’re curious) but that notion of creating a little bit of emotional magic through food sticks with me to this day. I want you to see the joy that goes into creating handmade dishes like pumpkin pasta- I hope that the wiggles of my happy dance infuse themselves into each bite and the love of creation imparts a bit of love to you as well. People ask why I like to cook from scratch and that’s why- it doesn’t matter to me that it takes a bit longer when the act of cooking makes me so incredibly happy.
“Why aren’t you a chef then?” I get that question often, and the answer is the same reason I give as to why I’ve never tried to sing professionally. Essentially what it boils down to is pleasure. I don’t want things that make me so happy to feel like work. I do them for pure unadulterated joy- the creation in the kitchen in bare feet with flour on my face and pups at my hip, singing isn’t something that you can recreate in a professional setting. Anyone who has ever had a meal at my house can attest to that- with two Samoyeds dog fur is a condiment. So instead I get to punctuate my work days (which, by the way I am so lucky to say is creating content like this) with the joy of making pumpkin pasta at ten in the evening because it feels like a good time to do it. I hope this fun little recipe makes you feel that way too!
Pumpkin Pasta Ingredients
2 1/2 Cups Semolina Flour
1/2 Cup Unbleached White Flour
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Salt
1-2 Teaspoon(s) Turmeric Powder (Optional, for a richer color)
Handmade Pumpkin Pasta Instructions
Now normally I make pasta by hand without a machine, but with the addition of pumpkin this can get a little messy, so I like to start the process in my food processor and then work into using my hands!
1 Combine white and semolina flour in a food processor and pulse until combined.
2. Add 2 large eggs, pumpkin, salt, and one teaspoon of turmeric and pulse until combined. If you’d like your color to get a little richer, add more turmeric!
3. Turn out your combined dough onto a work surface sprinkled with semolina flour. Note: because of the turmeric content, make sure that if you have a surface that stains you cover your surface at first to prevent staining!
4. Use your hands to combine dough until it starts to become smooth.
5. Working in sections, process the dough through a pasta machine (I use this hand crank one, you could also use this KitchenAid attachment or for a more rustic finish, just a rolling pin!) one run at a time. For the first few passes through the pasta machine fold the dough onto itself and run it through again. Eventually it will become slightly shiny and look thoroughly combined. Once you have reached this state (three or four passes) you can start to process the dough smoother, one notch on your pasta maker at a time until you’ve reached your desired thickness. Note: while this is subjective, make sure your pasta is thinner than what you want it to feel when cooked! When you add water it will get thicker.
6. Either pop your pasta into gently boiling water to cook right away (fresh pasta takes about half the time of dry pasta to cook so 4-5 minutes) or dry on a rack overnight and transfer to an airtight container and enjoy in the next week!
This process, while more time consuming than purchasing pasta from the store is so much fun, and great for getting kiddos involved if you have them (not so much for my fur babies) and leads to an incredibly tasty result with a great mouth feel. On top of that, this whole process is zero or low waste depending on where you can source your ingredients! I get my semolina, salt, and turmeric in bulk, the eggs from my backyard feathered ladies, and made the pumpkin puree from a pie pumpkin (if you haven’t seen that recipe check it out!)
I’d love to know, where is your happy place? Drop me a line on Instagram where you go to put a smile on your face!
Some links are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.