Kabocha, Sage, & Crème Fraîche Pappardelle

4 servings
30 min prep time
1 hr 40 min total time

Homemade pappardelle tossed in a tangy-sweet sauce of crème fraîche, kabocha puree, sage, and a touch of spice from our friend Cynthia at Two Red Bowls.

Ingredients

Pappardelle

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 egg yolks

Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

7 to 8 sage leaves

1 tablespoon salt, for boiling the pasta

2/3 cup kabocha squash puree, (see Tip)

1/4 cup Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche

Pinch ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts or almonds, if desired

 *This season I've been trying my hand at different squashes than pumpkin, as much as I love my old standby. This recipe uses kabocha, an Asian variety of winter squash that's almost unfairly sweet — I loved it. But you should feel free to use whatever puree you have on hand, from a good old can of Libby's to butternut, acorn squash, or delicata. If you're wary of the high number of egg yolks in the pasta, try 2 cups flour and 4 large eggs instead — though it may be difficult to roll it out by hand to your desired thinness. A pasta machine would be best in that case. And of course, feel free to use storebought fresh pappardelle or substitute your favorite pasta recipe. To make your own kabocha puree, use a sturdy knife to slice the kabocha in half. Lightly oil the cut sides, then place on a baking sheet and bake at 450º for about 40–50 minutes, or until kabocha is tender. Scoop out the seeds and use a food mill or food processor to puree.

Directions

  • STEP 1

    Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in center, and add egg yolks. Stir with wooden spoon until it comes together into a dough. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead dough 5–10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic food wrap or place in food storage bag. Let rest 45-60 minutes.

  • STEP 2

    Cut dough into several pieces. If rolling the pasta by hand, place one portion of the dough on a well-floured surface and roll it out into as large a rectangle as you can manage, then fold the sheet in half or into thirds and roll it out again, and repeat as many times as you're able. This can be tough by hand (though probably tougher for me than it should have been!) so just do it as many times as you can comfortably manage, rolling the pasta sheet as thin as you can each time. Or use a pasta machine according to machine directions..

  • STEP 3

    To cut noodles, generously dust the sheet with flour, then roll sheet up into a log, cinnamon-roll style, and slice using a serrated knife to your desired width. Tajarin is technically a very thin-cut noodle, but I went with wider pappardelle here. Once sliced, unroll individual noodles and toss generously in flour to make sure it doesn't stick together. Set aside.

  • STEP 4

    Melt butter over medium-low heat in large saucepan or wok. Add sage leaves; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until butter browns and sage leaves are crispy. Remove sage leaves; set aside. Reserve butter in pan. Turn heat to its lowest setting to keep butter warm, or off for the time being.

  • STEP 5

    Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Add fresh handmade pappardelle. Cook 1–2 minutes or until noodles float to the surface. Cook purchased pappardelle according to package directions.

  • STEP 6

    Use a pasta claw or tong to remove pasta and add it directly to saucepan with the brown butter, letting some of the starchy water come with it. Toss briefly to coat. If you've turned the heat off, you may want to turn it back to low to heat though.

  • STEP 7

    Add kabocha, crème fraîche, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to pasta. Toss again until sauce is well-combined and coats pasta evenly. Add another ladle or two of the pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce.

  • STEP 8

    Garnish with the reserved sage leaves and a handful of chopped walnuts or almonds, if desired. Serve immediately.