I’m not entirely sure when the calendar switched to October, but without my permission it did. Having recently looked at the actual date this month, I also realized next week is Halloween. I suppose it’s fair to say that I have not really been in the Halloween spirit, until now. What could be more perfect than ribbons of inky black pasta curled around bright orange cubes of roasted pumpkin, pieces of apple and chunks of savory sausage? This homemade pasta recipe is so easy and delicious, I’m pretty sure you’ll never go back to store bought pasta again. So this recipe should have a long afterlife beyond Halloween.
Halloween has become a decorator’s wet dream here in California. The only holiday that gets more lights and props tacked up to the house is Christmas (and not by much). When did that happen, and why? At some point pumpkins, gourds and multi-colored leaves weren’t enough to celebrate the holiday that only dentists could love more than little kids. Having said all of that, not one person in my neighborhood even has a pumpkin on the porch yet. (Which is probably one of the reasons I had no idea Halloween was coming up next week.)
Looking at the stash of gourds on my counter, I thought it might be kind of fun to come up with a Halloween pasta recipe. This would be a perfect Halloween dinner to serve before taking the kids out to collect their bag of cavities. Or maybe you prefer to think of the kids’ expedition as your minions collecting your Reese fix for you. Either way…everyone needs to keep their strength up for this task, so a good dinner is necessary.
This is a really simple homemade pasta recipe that I’ve been making for a long time. The only thing that’s different here is that I’ve added squid ink to the pasta dough to get that deep black color. To achieve the color without using squid ink, if you can’t find it locally, you could probably also use gel cake coloring. I haven’t used this myself, in the recipe, but I have used the gel colors for other applications and they work great. Just be careful not to use too much of the coloring because you could end up affecting the flavor of the pasta if you use too much.
Oh, and if you think you need a pasta machine to make this Halloween pasta, you don’t. A machine makes it easier to roll it into thin sheets, but a rolling pin works too. I cut these by hand, because I wanted the noodles to be wider and have a slightly irregular shape.
If you really want to go hardcore on the whole Halloween dinner thing, you could serve a Halloween themed cocktail like the Corpse Reviver, not to the kids of course because then they’d be too goofy to go out and collect your candy and Children’s Services would probably get called. But the homemade pasta recipe is completely fine for the kids to consume…no alcohol involved.
You’re really confusing the kids.
Recipe: Halloween Dinner – Homemade Pasta Recipe
For the Pasta
- 1 Cup Semolina Flour
- 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 Large Chicken Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 4 Gram Packets Squid Ink
For the Dish
- 1 2 Pound Sugar Pie Pumpkin (peeled and cubed)
- 1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage (casings removed)
- 1 Large Apple (peeled and diced)
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- Pinch Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Recipe of Squid Ink Pasta
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
For the Pasta
- Add all of the ingredients, except for the squid ink, to a bowl and stir to loosely combine the ingredients.
- Next add the packets of squid ink.
- Continue to stir the ingredients to form a soft ball of dough. (This may be easier to do with your hands, but wear gloves…the ink stains.)
- Sprinkle the counter with flour and drop the dough onto the flour.
- Knead the dough until it comes together to form a ball that comes together and isn’t as loose and sticky as it originally was (about 5-7 minutes).
- Sprinkle the dough with flour and either wrap in plastic wrap or drop into a zip top bag.
- Let sit on the counter for 30 minutes or in the fridge if not using until much later or the next day. If refrigerated, let the dough sit for 30 minutes on the counter to warm up so that you can roll it.
- Once the dough has set up, you can roll it out.
- Cut the dough into quarters, and work with one quarter at a time.
- Lightly flour the dough and roll it to your desired thickness.
- Fold the dough into fourths. Fold one end up to the other, then fold those 2 ends together.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the pasta into the widths you want.
- Unfold the noodles and lay out onto a pan, or drying rack, and let pasta dry slightly before cooking it in well salted water.
For the Dish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
- Put the pumpkin pieces on a large baking sheet and drizzle them with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure the pieces are well coated and then sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Roast for 40-50 minutes. Pieces should have golden brown edges and be slightly softened when done roasting.
- While the pumpkin is roasting, cook the sausage in a saute pan until browned and cooked through.
- Once the pumpkin is done roasting, cook up the pasta, for 2-3 minutes and strain.
- Turn the heat back on the pan with the sausage and add the roasted pumpkin and diced apple pieces.
- While this is cooking add the thyme, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Continue cooking until meat and apples are warmed through.
- Dish out the pasta and top with sausage mixture.
- Top with grated Parmesan Cheese.
If your sausage is too lean, you can add olive oil or butter to the pan when cooking up the pumpkin and apples with the sausage.
You could also use store bought squid ink pasta in this recipe too.
This recipe tastes great with maple chicken sausage too.
Preparation time: 45 minute(s)
Cooking time: 50 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Recipe by Pamela Braun.
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