Handmade Butternut Squash Pasta with Morel Mushroom and Rosemary Cream Sauce
Gluten Free Butternut Squash Orecchiette with Creamy Morel Sauce
When it comes to pasta, there is a very clear difference between handmade and dried. Plus, when you make your own, you can add extra flavor to your dish. Sweet, starchy vegetables like yams, squash, and beets are wonderful for adding flavor and color to handmade pasta!
While making your own pasta may be intimidating (especially when gluten free), it really isn’t that complex of a process and, contrary to popular belief, you don’t even need a pasta maker. In fact, there are a bunch of pasta varieties that don’t even require you to roll out the dough at all.
This particular dough works well to make several types of pasta. For this dish, I chose Orecchiette because the shape is that of a shallow bowl and it works beautifully as a vessel for sauce.
How to make homemade gluten free butternut squash pasta with morel mushroom sauce
For the handmade pasta:
- 1 cup cooked and mashed butternut squash
- 2 ½ cups gluten free all purpose flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
For the sauce:
- 1 ounce dried morel mushrooms, rehydrated, juices reserves
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sweet cream
For the handmade pasta:
- Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Puree the butternut squash, eggs, and half of the salt together.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients a little at a time, using a fork to pull the dry ingredients to the center of the bowl to fully incorporate before adding more of the wet ingredients.
- Knead your dough until smooth. Cut the dough in two equal portions and roll into balls. Wrap each of the balls tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
How to form orecchiette pasta:
Pull one of your wrapped dough balls from the refrigerator and divide it into 6 sections. Using the full length of your fingers and palms, roll each section into a long, tubular shape about ½-inch wide. Cut it into sections about ¾-inch. Next, you will roll each of those sections into a ball (they should be about the size of a marble). I keep a dish of water next to me and occasionally dip my finger in it to dab on the dough balls if they are seeming to get dry. Because eggs vary in size, your dough might be drier or wetter each time you make it. If it is too wet, you might need to use a bit of extra flour when rolling instead of water. Once you have your marble-sized ball, place it in the center of one of your palms and use your other palm to smash it into a disk. Leaving the disk in the palm of one hand, slightly cup your hand as if you are using it take a drink of water directly from the faucet. Push the thumb of your other hand firmly into the disk and gently slide it away. The result will be a piece of pasta that resembles a small ear, which is what this particular pasta is actually named after.
Either cook from here, let dry for use the following day, or freeze to use within 2 weeks.
Cooking the handmade pasta:
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and liberally salt the water.
- Drop your pasta in the water a few at a time to avoid having them stick together.
- Once the pasta begins to float, it is done.
For the sauce:
- Melt your butter in a saucepan and saute your shallot and over medium heat.
- Add your mushrooms, rosemary, and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in your corn starch. A thick paste should form.
- Whisk in 1 ½ cups of your reserved mushroom rehydration liquid, along with the salt and pepper, and bring heat up to med-high, stirring frequently until the sauce is the consistency of a thick alfredo.
- Stir in your cream.
Toss your pasta in the sauce and serve as a vegetarian entree or alongside your favorite meaty protein. I think this is especially fantastic alongside shellfish!
If you prefer a red sauce try this pasta with the Slofoodgroup morel mushroom bolognese. https://www.slofoodgroup.com/blogs/recipes-stories/vegan-morel-mushroom-bolognese-with-rigatoni
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