14 July 2011

Pumpkin Pasta, two ways

I love pumpkin.

Now you know, and I feel oh, so liberated. I especially love it savoury-style, and this week I experimented with putting into pasta. I didn't mix it and pour it over the pasta, but actually put it right in the noodles themselves. It was an interesting experience, although mine was a little sticky. I could've saved myself a bit of time and trouble by mixing a stiffer, dryer dough.

Pumpkin Pasta

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup canned pumpkin

Combine flour and salt in a food processor, and pulse few times. Add egg and pumpkin and mix in 10-second pulses until it's raggedly mixed. Add olive oil and/or water to get a good consistency of dough, generally it will clump up. Err on the dry side. Pour it out onto a floured surface and knead it until it comes together smoothly. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for an hour to let it rest. Roll out and cut as desired, then cook 3-4 minutes in boiling water.

Sauce 1

This one's hearty and full and really more autumnal than summery, but I like it anyway. It is inspired by my absolutely favourite winter soup. It would also be great over any other pasta, but the pumpkin is creamy and wonderful. I suspect it would also be quite nice with some chopped carrot in it as well.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (about 2 cups) black beans, drained
1-14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
crème fraîche or sour cream and chopped cilantro, optional (to garnish)

Heat olive oil to shimmering, then add onion, red pepper flakes, cumin, and coriander. Stir and cook until onions soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add black beans and tomatoes. stir to combine, add salt and pepper, reduce heat and let simmer while you cut and boil the pasta. Make sure about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water ends up in the sauce, then combine sauce and pasta. Garnish with a heaping scoop of crème fraîche and cilantro, or pass at the table.

Sauce 2

Now this one's for summer. You just can't regret it.

Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
olive oil
salt and pepper
crème fraîche or sour cream (optional)

Combine lime juice, honey, and cilantro, then pour over pasta. Drizzle olive oil over the pasta to moisten, then mix. Season with salt and pepper, then mix in crème fraîche or sour cream, if desired.

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