Fall’s here everyone, and there’s no better way to welcome it back than by dusting off the fall spices, firing up the oven and making fresh squash pasta noodles! These noodles, which can be made from any edible pumpkin or winter squash, have a delicate flavor and rich texture. We used this week’s gorgeous acorn squash from Emanuel Stoltzfus’s farm.
With this recipe, we choose to make layered Pasta Al Forno—or, if you like, a lasagna. We’re reluctant to call it that however because this one contains no meat, tomato sauce, ricotta or anything else you’d typically associate with this classic family-friendly favorite. Why? Because, Let’s face it, lasagna is rather boring. Tried and true, sure, but boring. We though we’d festoon our lasagna with all flavors and trimmings of fall—namely Macintosh apples (from Leola Produce auction), pistachios, sage and sweet, creamy, heavenly marscapone. We threw in a heavy dose of parmesan because, well…just because.
This dish is labor-intensive, but with day light shrinking and beach-going out of play, we thought you’d be able to find an extra hour or two to devote to making something memorable. For us, making fresh pasta is a great way to slow down and unwind. After you’ve gotten it down, it’s easy and imprecise, repetitive and soothing. Plus making fresh pasta is a great group activity to be shared with friends and family.
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 egg yolks
1 acorn squash
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp all spice powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pistachios
1 cup marscapone
2 cups parmesan
4 sprigs fresh sage, chopped
2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Carefully cut the acorn squash in half and, using a large sturdy spoon, scoop out the seeds and inner flesh. Drizzle the squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Place on a sheet tray skin-side down and roast for at least 45 minutes or until the squash is tender and brown. Don’t be afraid to roast this baby hard—the browner it is, the deeper the flavor will be.
Remove the squash from the oven an allow it to cool for a few minutes. Scoop the roasted flesh from the skin and transfer it to a blender and puree. Add the cinnamon, clove, all-spice, and more salt if desired. Set aside to cool.
On a clean surface, pile 2 cups of all purpose flour into a mound and dig a little cup in the center like a volcano. Drop the eggs and yolks into the crater and beat with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour around the rim. After the dough begins to form, begin working in 3 Tbl of the squash puree.
After about half of the flour has been incorporated, set aside the fork and use your hands to work the rest of the flour into the ball. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it becomes “springy” to the touch.
Keep some cold water nearby to adjust the dough. It shouldn’t be too dry and caky, just ever so slightly tacky. Pasta dough is never an exact science. If it’s too sticky, simply work in a little more flour.
Once you’re happy with your dough, cut it into four equal size balls. Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball and fold it over itself. Roll it again. Do this a few times to knead the dough further.
Run the dough through your pasta machine several times on progressively thinner settings(or work it as thin as you can with a rolling pin) until you have a long sheet. Cut the sheet into roughly 10” x 4” inch rectangles and set aside on a well-floured surface to prevent them from sticking. Repeat until all the dough is used.
Finally, brush olive oil around the inside of an 10”x 8” baking pan and layer in two pasta sheets. Spread on some marscapone, shingle some apples, sprinkle some parmesan, drizzle some more olive oil and repeat layer upon layer until you have a lasagna. Spread any remaining squash puree in there too.
Top the lasagna with chopped pistachios, chopped sage and drizzle it with honey. Cover the baking dish in foil and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.