KABOCHA, SAGE & CREME FRAICHE PAPPARDELLE
| a recipe |
This recipe uses a ten-yolk wonder of a pasta from Jeffrey Steingarten's recipe for tajarin, cut a bit wider as pappardelle. The high number of egg yolks (while admittedly a little terrifying) makes the pasta easier to roll out, and results in sunny-yellow noodles that are eggy, toothsome, and satisfying. I served them tossed in a creamy, nutty-sweet sauce made from kabocha, creme fraiche and a touch of spice, with a little bit of brown butter and sage for an earthy undertone. If the number of egg yolks is intimidating, try four whole eggs (though it will make hand rolling slightly more of a chore) or substitute your favorite pasta recipe. I also think the sauce would work wonderfully with leftover Thanksgiving pumpkin purée.
what you'll need
2 cups (250 g) all-purpose or "00" flour 1/4 tsp salt 10 egg yolks 2 tbsp butter extra flour, for dusting 7-8 sage leaves (a small handful) 1 tbsp salt, for boiling the pasta 2/3 cup kabocha purée (or squash purée of your choice) 1/4 cup creme fraiche pinch nutmeg 1/8 tsp cinnamon about 1/4 to 1/3 cup reserved pasta water, for thinning salt & pepper to taste 2-3 tbsp chopped walnuts or almonds for garnish (optional)
Combine salt and flour in a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the center and drop the 10 egg yolks into it. With a wooden spoon, gently mix from the center out until the mixture holds together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. Place in an airtight container or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 45 min to an hour.
When you're ready to roll out the pasta, divide into several pieces. If rolling by hand, roll out one section on a well-floured surface into as large a rectangle as you can manage, then fold into thirds or in half and repeat. The folding laminates the dough for more pliant chew, but can be difficult by hand -- just do it as many times as you are able. If rolling using a machine, follow manufacturer instructions.
To cut the noodles, flour both sides of the pasta sheet and roll it up, cinnamon-roll style. Using a serrated or very sharp knife, cut into rolls of your desired width. Unravel and dust generously with flour to prevent sticking.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp butter in a large saucepan with the sage leaves over medium-low heat, until the butter crackles, turns brown and smells nutty. Remove the sage leaves, then add the kabocha, creme fraiche, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Turn heat to low. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until noodles are al dente and float to the surface, only about 2-3 minutes. Using a pasta claw or tongs, transfer the pasta to the kabocha sauce, letting some of the pasta water come with it. Toss until pasta is well-coated with the sauce, adding as much pasta water as necessary to loosen the sauce to your liking. Mound onto individual plates and garnish with sage leaves and crushed almonds, if desired. Serve immediately.
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