Homemade pasta is one of those dishes that is intimidating to make until you try it and realize it’s not so complicated and tastes miles better than store-bought. This version incorporates mashed butternut in the dough which creates a soft dough that doesn’t need quite as long kneading time and has a mild sweet taste from the butternut. The inspiration came from a recipe for beet pasta which I’ve made from Matt Preston’s cookbook, More and it’s simple enough that you can add almost any vegetable puree.
I shaped it into “shells” which is an easy and relatively speedy shape that doesn’t require any machinery, but you can shape it as you like. I love this pasta either with some roasted or sautéed vegetables and feta cheese or like it’s served below – with mushrooms cooked in butter and sage and topped with parmesan.
Last thing before we start, the amount of flour you need depends on how liquid your butternut is, how big the yolks, the flour you use and even the humidity in your kitchen. For that reason, I’ve given a range and always start with the smaller amount, adding flour as needed. Start with 1 ½ cups and only add more, little by little if needed. It’s a lot easier to add flour to a dough than liquid.
Homemade Butternut Pasta
- 250 grams butternut approximately 1 small butternut
- olive oil
- 1½-2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 250 grams brown mushrooms
- handful sage leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Cut the butternut in half lengthways and brush the inside with olive oil. Place the butternut open side down on a baking tray and bake for 25-35 minutes or until the flesh is browned and you can easily pierce the butternut with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- When the butternut is cool, scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop the flesh from the skin and add it to a food processer or blender. When all the butternut flesh has been added, add in the egg yolks and blend until you get a smooth puree. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or on a clean counter add 1 ½cups of flour and a pinch of salt, mix to combine. Create a well in the middle of the flour and pour the butternut egg mixture inside it. Using a fork, start combining the flour with the butternut mixture. When most of the liquid has been combined, use your hands to continue kneading until you get a smooth and elastic dough. If it is too sticky add some more flour. Shape into a ball and wrap with cling wrap. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes you can begin to shape. You can choose any shape you want and if you have a pasta machine roll it through. To make the shapes I did, flour your counter well and divide the dough into four.
- Roll each quarter into a thin log / sausage shape.
- Cut into 1cm thick pieces.
- Flour your hands and place a piece in your palm, using the thumb of your other hand press into the piece of dough and gently roll it up and then down to create a shell. Continue until you have shaped all the dough.
- Fill a pot with water and season with salt liberally. Bring to a boil and then add in the pasta. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they float to the top and are cooked to your liking. Remove from the heat and drain.
- To serve, wash and slice you mushrooms. Add a generous knob of butter to a large saucepan and melt. Add in the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until the liquid has dissolved and they’re nice and crisp. Add in fresh sage and cook for another few minutes. Add in the cooked pasta and toss. Divide between 3 plates, sprinkle with some parmesan and serve immediately.