This pumpkin spice pasta dough doesn't actually have any pumpkin in it, but it does have those classic pumpkin spice flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Once cooked, the pasta is warm and nutty with just the tiniest bit of tingly heat.
This recipe was inspired by Anne Burrell's pumpkin and pancetta orecchiette, which I absolutely love. The way the pumpkin pieces break down and turn into a creamy, tasty sauce got me thinking about what it would be like to have the pasta itself provide the pumpkin flavor.
And that's what this pumpkin spice pasta dough really is all about. A homemade pasta that brings so much flavor, you need barely anything else to turn it into a tasty dish. I recommend serving it with my apple sage brown butter pasta sauce which takes just a few minutes to make.
Why this recipe works
This is a pretty standard egg-based pasta dough with a classic pumpkin spices added to it. I used a blend of semolina and all purpose flour because I like the texture the semolina adds, but you really can do it with all all purpose flour or using a "pasta blend" flour, too.
This is one of few (if any) pumpkin pasta recipes that doesn't use pumpkin puree. And while "doesn't call for the main ingredient" isn't usually a selling point for most recipes, for this one I really think it is.
Pumpkin puree doesn't have a ton of flavor. What we think of as "pumpkin flavor" is actually a pumpkin spice blend. So I bypassed the puree entirely in favor of going straight to the spices.
My recipe instructions use a stand mixer with a dough hook to make the dough, but you can also mix it by hand.
Here's what you need to make pumpkin spice pasta dough!
- All-purpose flour - No fancy flour required! Good ol' AP will do.
- Semolina flour - I use Bob's Red Mill, but if you don't have it, just replace it with more AP flour. It adds a nice texture and makes the pasta feel just a little more substantial.
- Eggs - Large eggs! If you use a different size your dough ratios will be off and you may need to adjust with more flour or additional water to get the right consistency.
- Egg yolk - One additional egg yolk makes this pasta a little richer. (Save the egg whites to make crispy meringue s'mores!)
- Pumpkin spice blend - A combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. I've listed the specific quantities of each below, but you can also use 2 teaspoons of a store-bought pumpkin spice blend instead. Nutmeg is best when grated fresh — I recommend this small tin from Spicewalla which will last you for a year or more.
- Olive oil - I like a strongly flavored, nutty olive oil like California Olive Oil's Arbosana Blend, which highlights the nutty flavors in the pumpkin spice. But any good olive oil will do!
- Kosher salt - I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt which has a larger, airier crystal structure than other types of salt (including other brands of kosher salt). Use half as much salt if using a different brand!
- Water - This is an "emergency use only" ingredient. Do NOT add water unless you absolutely feel you need it. The pasta dough might seem dry at first, but will come together as you keep kneading it and will finish hydrating as it rests in the fridge. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time (sprinkled directly onto any dry bits in the bowl) only if absolutely necessary.
The traditional way to make pasta dough is to crack eggs into the center of a pile of flour, then whisk them together, slowly adding more flour until a dough forms. This is all well and good, but the risk of mess is high. And in a small kitchen, finding that amount of counter space can be rough.
I prefer making pasta dough in my stand mixer. The method is basically the same, but the mess is contained. Your hands stay much cleaner, too!
Combine the flour and dry ingredients, including the pumpkin spices, in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk them well to evenly distribute the spices and salt.
Make a well in the center of the flour and crack the eggs into it along with the olive oil. Use a fork to get the pumpkin spice pasta dough started — whisk the eggs together in the center, gradually adding more flour from the sides of the bowl.
When you have a fairly thick mixture in the center, switch to the dough hook. Mix on low-medium speed until everything combines, then knead in the mixer for 3-5 minutes until smooth.
Shape the dough into a flat disc and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This gives the gluten plenty of time to rest.
🍝 Rolling pasta dough
To roll pasta dough, start with the pasta roller on the widest possible setting. Press the dough into a flat rectangle shape. Dust well with flour and roll it through the machine once.
Dust any flour off the top of the dough, then fold it in thirds like a letter. Run it longways through the machine, then do another letter fold, this time in the other direction.
This helps warm up the dough and get the gluten used to stretching.
Run the dough through the roller at least twice on each setting. The ends will begin to stretch out into pointy shapes, but don't trim them until the end.
Once you've reached your desired thickness, then you can trim the ends. Dust well with flour again, then cut however you dang well please.
🥣 How to serve it
The nice thing about this pumpkin spice pasta dough is that it's so packed with flavor, it really doesn't take much to turn it into a meal.
I like to serve it with a simple apple and sage brown butter pasta sauce with a handful of chopped walnuts stirred in at the end for extra crunch. It's so super good and so easy to make.
The best part? Fresh pasta only takes a few minutes to cook, so you can brown the butter, then drop the pasta in the water, and the pasta will be ready as soon as the sauce is done.
Other flavor pairings to try:
- Bitter, cruciferous greens like kale or broccoli rabe
- A simple, peppery pasta sauce like cacio e pepe
- Garlic (think aglio e olio)
- Cranberries and goat cheese
- Fatty, slightly spicy hot Italian sausage crumbles
- Squash or pumpkin pasta sauces
- Brussels sprouts and bacon like in this Brussels sprouts carbonara
In the refrigerator: Wrap pasta dough tightly in plastic wrap. The eggs in the dough will begin to oxidize after about 24 hours. Because this dough is brown, you likely won't notice any oxidization, but you do want to use or freeze the dough at least 48 hours (and no more than 72 hours) after making it.
To freeze pasta dough: Divide the dough into tennis-ball sized portions. Wrap each one tightly in plastic, then place in a resealable bag to freeze. Defrost completely in the fridge before use. They'll stay good for about 3 months. You can freeze the dough in larger portions, but smaller portions will defrost faster.
To store cut pasta: To store cut pasta, dry it on a hanging rack or a cooling rack or dust well with flour and twist loosely into nests. Once completely dry, store in an airtight container at room temperature or wrap tightly and store in the freezer. Use within 3 months if stored at room temperature, or 6 months in the freezer.
Hint: Make sure the pasta is completely dry before storing it, especially if storing it at room temperature. You don't want to trap any moisture in the bag with the pasta or things might get moldy.
👩🏻🍳 Expert notes and tips
- Don't be shy with the flour when it comes time to roll and cut your pasta dough. Especially if the dough seems at all sticky. Dust on plenty of flour so the dough doesn't cut caught on the machine at all.
- I rolled the dough to the "6" thinness setting on my KitchenAid pasta roller and used the "lasagnette" sized cutter which makes noodles wider than fettuccine but narrower than pappardelle). If you don't have those you can use a standard hand crank machine or even cut the pasta by hand.
- If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, you can still make this dough — you'll just do it using the traditional method (though I do recommend doing it in a wide, shallow bowl so the egg doesn't go everywhere on your counter if the flour walls don't hold).
- I use this KitchenAid pasta drying rack to drape my pasta so it doesn't stick to itself while it dries. I like this model because it comes with a wand you can use to catch the pasta as it comes out of the machine and carry it over to the rack.
- Homemade/fresh pasta cooks much faster than the boxed kind. It will vary slightly depending on the thickness and shape you choose, but start testing for doneness after about 3 minutes for thicker pastas. If you cut this into angel hair pasta, start checking for doneness after 1 minute.
pumpkin spice pasta dough
- Combine all purpose flour, semolina flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the middle.
- Crack 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk into a small bowl and whisk in olive oil, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Pour the egg mixture into the center of the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on low-medium and let the dough hook slowly pull the dry mixture from the sides into the wet ingredients in the center. Troubleshooting: If you need to pause the mixer a few times to gently push more of the dry mixture into the wet that's okay, but it will also happen on its own if you just let the mixer run. It make take several minutes. That's okay!
- Once the dough has mostly come together, let the machine continue kneading about 4-5 minutes until the dough is very smooth. It should pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl and be slightly tacky and soft to the touch but not sticky.Troubleshooting: If the dough feels dry and crumbly, drizzle in water 1 tablespoon at a time. Resist adding any more water than you absolutely need to though. If the dough seems too wet and sticky to handle or isn't coming cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, dust in flour 2 tablespoon at a time. Make sure you give the dough plenty of time (at least 30 seconds) of kneading after each addition before deciding to add more flour or water.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 48 hours before rolling and cutting.
- If you don't have a stand mixer, you can still make this recipe! Just follow the traditional pasta making process (video is at this link).
- If you don't have a pasta machine cut your noodles you can cut the pasta by hand (video is at the link).
- Don't have the individual spices? 1 tablespoon of any generic pumpkin spice blend will do.
- The brown butter sauce makes enough for about 2-4 servings of the sauce. Scale up or down depending on how many people you're serving!
This post was originally published on 11/16/2020.