Homemade Pumpkin Pasta with Pecan Sage Finishing Oil
For me, there is nothing quite like the taste of handmade pasta! I know its with a blog name like Almost Properly, its not shocking that I prefer a less than perfect looking hand vs. machine cut pasta. We’ll call it rustic style. Pasta rustico. 😉
For me the pasta making process is magical, nostalgic, and darn-near therapeutic. I love the rolling, slicing, and arranging. I love the boiling, saucing, and plating. And of course, eating is the very best part. Loving the hearty rustic nature of this pasta in all its simple sauced wonder.
Since its fall, I made handmade pasta with pumpkin! In this recipe, pureed pumpkin replaces the eggs in my typical egg based noodles. The end result has the incredible toothy texture of an egg-based pasta but is totally vegan.
The pumpkin flavor isn’t overpowering and the sage, garlic, and pecan finishing oil is a perfect, simple, savory way to complement the flavor of the noodles.
Homemade noodles sound intimidating. I know. I hear ya. But they aren’t! I promise! If you have a well floured surface, a rolling pin, strong arms, and a sharp knife, you can make this pasta! I promise! I love making this dish after a salad appetizer and before a hearty main course. It has upstaged many main courses. And I get it. How can tender freshly made noodles not taste amazing?
My husband tolerates but doesn’t love pumpkin foods. I was expecting him to be fairly neutral to these noodles, but his feedback was glowing. According to him, they might even be his new favorite! This boy LOVES himself some homemade pasta, so thats really saying something.
I think where most savory pumpkin dishes lose the husband is that so many pumpkin and squash recipes at play off the hint of sweetness from the squash too much by tossing in something candied or adding a bit of brown sugar. While I’m all about that combo at times (see pumpkin ricotta ravioli with brown butter sage sauce), it’s sometimes nice to let a savory dish be savory. This is a wonderful savory pumpkin pasta!
Sage, pecan, and pumpkin go together like Bonny and Clyde ya’ll. Especially when olive oil and tender, fresh, handmade noodles are part of the equation. Take an afternoon, roll up your sleeves, and make this pasta! It is worth the time, effort, and ritual. My friends love pasta making parties and I have hosted many of these. But this time of year, there are a lot of parties. And when e aren’t moving, it seems we are always hosting someone. So the introvert in me, revels in doing this with a nerdy podcast playing in the background all by my self.
So whether you make this during a moment of solitary quiet or a social pasta making party, what matters is that you make this pasta!! Your Fall carb-craving body is begging you;)
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling and sprinkling
- 1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp. fresh sage leaves, minced
- 2 tbsp. pecans, minced
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- 8-10 fried sage leaves (see directions in finishing oil process)
- 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano (optional, omit if vegan)
- 3 tbsp. pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- freshly cracked black pepper
- sprinkle of salt
- 2 tbsp. balsamic reduction*
*To make balsamic reduction: add 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan, cook uncovered over medium heat until reduced by half. Immediately transfer to heatproof bowl to cool.
To make handmade pasta: In a bowl, whisk to combine flour and salt. Create a well in the center of the flour add canned pumpkin puree, and use a rubber spatula to gradually add more flour to the pumpkin until all of the flour has been added. Dough will be stickier than other pasta doughs but still workable. Generously flour a work surface and follow these homemade pasta instructions. When you reach the cutting step, cut into 1/3"-1/2" wide fettuccine noodle style strips. Transfer cut pasta to a wax paper or parchment lined baking sheet. Create small nests of cut pasta (see photos in post for reference) with 5-6 noodles per nest. This will make cooking and handling the cut pasta dough easier. If not cooking right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
To fry sage leaves and make finishing oil: In a large frying pan, heat the 1/4 c. olive oil for over medium heat. Once oil is hot and glossy, add sage leaves to hot oil trying to keep them flat. Sprinkle the top of each sage leaf with a pinch of fine grain sea salt. Fry leaves uncovered for about 20-30 seconds per side. Sprinkle other side with pinch of sea salt after flipping. Use a slotted spoon and transfer fried sage leaves to a paper towel lined plate. Now we will use the same oil to make the finishing oil. Add minced sage, minced garlic, finely chopped pecans, crushed red pepper flakes, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt to the oil. Give it a stir and cook until pecans have turned lightly golden - about 2 minutes. Once the pecans are golden, immediately transfer oil and solids to a heat proof bowl.
To cook and serve: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Pasta will only take about 3 minutes to cook, so watch it carefully. The noodles will turn a brighter shade of orange as they cook. Drain water and immediately transfer noodles to a large bowl or wide frying pan. Toss with sage finishing oil. To plate, drizzle a bit of balsamic reduction on a plate then add oil dressed pasta. Top with additional pecans, a couple fried sage leaves, sprinkle of salt, freshly cracked pepper, and cheese, if desired.
Total time includes 1 hour for dough to rest.