Pumpkin Pasta Dough

This pumpkin pasta dough from Domenica Marchetti is remarkably stunning to behold—and, just as remarkably, really quite easy to make. We’re talking 20 minutes of barely any effort. Impressive? Heck yeah. And wait’ll you taste it.

A thin sheet of pumpkin pasta dough draped over a person's hands.

Fresh egg noodles in Italy are a gorgeous, rich golden color that is hard to replicate elsewhere. This is because of the intense red of the yolks (indeed, in Italy the yolk is referred to as il rosso, “the red”). I’m still not sure what inspired me one day to add just a little bit of pumpkin puree to my pasta dough—actually it was buttercup squash, which has sweet, dense, deep orange flesh. I happened to have some leftover in my fridge from a pumpkin cheesecake that I had made for Thanksgiving. Into the dough it went. The resulting pasta sheets were even better than I had imagined, golden in color and subtle in flavor—a perfect match for pumpkin lasagne. But you can also cut them into pappardelle or fettuccine and serve them with a simple tomato sauce.–Domenica Marchetti


Pumpkin Pasta Dough

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 15 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4 | Makes about 1 pound (454 g)
5/5 - 4 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Glorious Pasta of Italy cookbook

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Make the pumpkin pasta dough

In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and 1 of the eggs.

In a food processor, briefly pulse 2 cups “00” flour, the semolina flour, salt, and nutmeg. 

Add the pumpkin mixture and pulse briefly to combine. Add the remaining egg and pulse until the mixture forms crumbs that look like small curds. Pinch together a bit of the mixture and roll it around. It should form a soft ball. If the mixture seems dry, drizzle in a few droplets of water and pulse briefly. If it seems too wet and sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse briefly.

Add the remaining egg and pulse until the mixture forms crumbs that look like small curds. Pinch together a bit of the mixture and roll it around. It should form a soft ball. If the pasta dough seems dry, drizzle in a few droplets of water and pulse briefly. If the pasta dough seems wet and sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse briefly.

A pile of pumpkin pasta dough on a white and grey marble surface.

Turn the mixture onto a clean work surface lightly sprinkled with semolina flour and press it together with your hands to form a rough ball. Knead the dough by using the palm of your hand to push the dough gently but firmly away from you, and then fold it over toward you. Rotate the dough a quarter turn, and repeat the pushing and folding motion.

Continue kneading for several minutes, until the dough is smooth. Form it into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling and forming it into your desired pasta shape.

Shape the pumpkin pasta dough into noodles

[Editor’s Note: You could opt to roll the pasta dough by hand using a long wooden rolling pin, although a pasta machine makes for far less work.] Feed the blob of pasta dough through a pasta machine set on the widest setting. As the sheet of pasta dough comes out of the machine, fold it into thirds and then feed it through the rollers again, still on the widest setting. Pass the pasta through this same setting a total of 4 or 5 times. This takes the place of kneading the pasta dough and ensures the resulting pasta is silky smooth.Pass the sheet of pasta dough through the machine again, repeatedly, gradually reducing the settings, one pass at a time, until the pasta achieves the desired thickness. Your sheet of pasta dough will become quite long—if you have trouble keeping the dough from folding onto itself, cut the sheet of dough in half and feed each half through separately. Generally the second-from-last setting is best for tagliatelle and the last setting is best for ravioli and any other shapes that are to be filled. To form lasagne noodles for our pumpkin lasagna recipe, stretch the dough as thin as you comfortably can, no thicker than 1/16 inch.

If you lift a sheet with your hand, you should be able to see the shadow of your hand through it. Because lasagne noodles are layered, they need to be very thin. Using a sharp chef’s or similar knife, cut each sheet into rectangles about 4 inches by 5 inches. To form any other shape pasta, follow our instructions here. Originally published November 7, 2011.

Rectangles of pumpkin pasta dough
Print RecipeBuy the The Glorious Pasta of Italy cookbook

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    What to do with leftover pumpkin purée

    • If you find yourself with leftover puréed pumpkin (or other winter squash) after making this lovely pumpkin pasta dough, don’t you dare even think about throwing it away. Instead, be sneaky and stir some into your fave mac-n-cheese. It’ll bring an ever so subtle sweetness to your dinner—along with some stealthy potassium and vitamins A and C.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    We almost always make our own pasta and this dough is another delightful recipe to add to our collection. I used canned pumpkin puree and large eggs so it only took 2 cups all-purpose flour. I cut the dough into wide noodles and served it with a sage cream sauce. Next time I want to make ravioli, so now I'm on a mission to find the right filling.

    I'm fairly new to making my own pasta and still struggle with a delicate dough. This dough, however, is so easy to work with that I was surprised how quickly it came together. The addition of the squash gave the pasta a brilliant warm shade of yellow and just a touch of sweetness.

    Once I had run the first ball through the machine, I decided to make ravioli instead. I did keep enough of the dough to make a single serving of pappardelle, just for the sake of taste testing. I used 00 flour and 2 large eggs along with pureed butternut squash. I found that the dough didn't need any water added to it; after a few pulses in the food processor, it came together easily. I spent some time kneading until it was silken and elastic before wrapping and letting it rest.

    I had originally thought about just making a quick sauce and cutting the dough into simple, rustic pappardelle. I tried the pappardelle with a good olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and found the flavor to be mild with a hint of pumpkin.

    The biggest appeal of this dough was, for me, the texture and malleability. It was dead simple to roll out and form into ravioli. I filled them with sausage, blue cheese, and the leftover pureed squash. They boiled up beautifully, keeping their shape and beautiful color. I was able to make 18 medium ravioli along with a decent-sized bowl of sneaky "testing" pappardelle.


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    1. I’m late to this party, but found this recipe just as I was roasting up the last of last year’s pumpkin haul…make this pasta! Came together like a dream, rolled perfectly, and is going to be paired with a cauliflower Bolognese for supper tonight. A few years back I found a vintage cavatelli maker in a thrift store (complete with original box and instruction sheet) so set that to use for the shaping this time around. This one is going on repeat around here, for sure.

      1. Nice, Anne! Homemade cavatelli. I’m impressed. And it looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing with us.

    2. David Liebovitz recently had a recipe for mushroom lasagna and I can’t think of a better opportunity to pair a couple things.

      OMG! I can’t even *tell* you how much I want to do this but I’m on a Keto diet.

      Saving the recipe and I *hope* I’ll remember I’ve got it when I’m skinny.

      1. Rainey, mushroom lasagna paired with pumpkin pasta sounds divine! Your self-control is incredible. I would not have the patience to wait!!

    3. Timely question….how long ahead of time can I make this dough? Can I make today and roll out tomorrow?

    4. This almost makes me want to get married, so that I can impress him with my pasta making skills. Almost. I’m thinking a sauce involving tasso ham is in order.

    5. I tried this last night! It was excellent! In fact it was a pumpkin theme night, I used the leftover purée (I also made muffins) in a sauce to cover the noodles. I sautéed onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic in some bacon fat, dumped the rest of the purée over that, thinned it out with some Riesling and cream and topped it with ham. Went perfect with the pumpkin noodles! One change I made was that I just used all-purpose flour, couldn’t get anything fancy. Thanks for the recipe!

      1. You’re quite welcome, Chris. Domenica certainly knows her pasta, doesn’t she?! I hope you have a little pumpkin purée leftover, as we have a similarly themed recipe next week that you may want to try…

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