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Fall Caramelle Pasta

Fall Caramelle Pasta

Pasta artist Linda Miller Nicholson is making delicious masterpieces in the kitchen with colorful pasta!
Ingredients for Beet Blueberry Dough
  • 1 small beet, peeled and roughly chopped (about 2oz) small beet, peeled and roughly chopped (about 2oz)
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 larges eggs
  • 2-¼ cups “00” pasta flour
Ingredients for Lattice-Patterned Caramelle Pasta
  • 1 batch filling in a zip top bag 
  • 2/3 batch dough (your choice of flavor/color)
  • ½ batch dough (your choice of flavor/color)
Ingredients for Walnut Poppy Seed Browned Butter Sauce
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1-teaspoon honey
  • 1-teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-cup hot, starchy pasta water
Ingredients for Rustic Squash Filling
  • 3 cups (approx.) peels, chopped winter squash, such as butternut or delicata (no seeds)
  • ½ cup whole milk ricotta, drained
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-tablespoon sugar
  • 1-teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Ingredients fro Kale or Leafy Green Dough
  • 1-tablespoon salt
  • 1-teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ bunch of lacinato kale or other dark leafy green such as chard, nettles, or spinach
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-¼ cups “00” pasta flour (AP flour will work too, just look for low that is low protein)
Ingredients for Harissa Dough
  • 3-tablespoons harissa (Trader Joe’s has a great one)
  • 3 larges eggs
  • 2-1/4 cups “00” pasta flour (AP flour will work too, just look for one that is low protein)


Directions for Beet Blueberries Dough

Place the chopped beet in a small, non-metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 50 seconds. Let sit for two minutes.

Uncover and add to a blender along with the blueberries and eggs, and blend on low speed, slowly increasing speed until a smooth puree forms.

Combine the flour and puree in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. Continue to knead, either by hand or in the mixer for 3 minutes, so that the dough develops elasticity and silkiness.

Seal the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before sheeting. Alternatively, you can let the dough rest for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The color will turn grayish-brown after.

Directions for Lattice-Patterned Caramelle Pasta

Place the filling in a gallon-sized zip top bag and snip a bottom corner to make a hole approximately 1” in diameter. Reserve filling in refrigerator until you are ready to shape the caramelle.

Roll the 2/3 batch of dough to the fourth-thinnest setting on a pasta machine in a rectangular shape, approximately 5” wide.

Lightly dust a surface with flour and rest the base sheet along it, covered with a kitchen towel. I will refer to this as the base sheet hereto forth.

Roll the half batch of dough to the third-thinnest setting on a pasta machine. Cut it into thirds and work with 1/3 at a time, covering the remaining 2/3 with a kitchen towel. This is to ensure that your dough does not prematurely dry out and become unusable.

Lightly flour the first third of the half batch dough so it doesn’t clump. Using the spaghetti (thinnest) cutter attachment on a pasta machine, cut the sheet into strands.

Place the base sheet in front of you on a lightly floured surface. Place the spaghetti strands directly behind that, so they are easy to access, as you will be laying them on the base sheet.

Wipe the entirety of the base sheet with a barely-damp paper towel or culinary brush, so that the strands stick to it.

Begin laying strands diagonally across the base sheet, approximately ½” apart (or as far apart as you want your pattern, keeping in mind that it will stretch when you re-roll it through the pasta machine). You may have to continue to moisten the base sheet if you notice the strands are not sticking properly to it, though you don’t want it too wet or you risk the pattern bleeding.

Once you have laid strands across the entirety of the base sheet in 1 direction, repeat with strands running the opposite diagonal direction, cutting additional spaghetti strands as necessary from the reserved sheets.

Continue to moisten the base sheet as necessary, but again, not excessively.

Once the pattern is complete in both directions, lightly roll across it with a rolling pin to affix the strands in place. Cut the excess strands that extend beyond the edges of the sheet with a rolling cutter. If there are any sticky patches from too much water, lightly flour them so they do not stick to the pasta machine.

Cut the newly-patterned sheet in half so it is not unruly to work with, and cover half with a kitchen towel. Run the other half through the pasta machine very carefully. You don’t want your pattern to skew too much, so start on the widest setting and very gradually roll the sheet to the second-thinnest setting, alternating which end of the sheet you feed each time so that the pattern doesn’t skew excessively one way.

Repeat with the reserved sheet, and then cover both sheets with a kitchen towel while you prepare to shape the caramelle.

FILLING AND SHAPING
Remove the bag of filling from the refrigerator and snip a ½” hole from a bottom corner. Work with one sheet of pasta at a time.

Lay the pasta sheet in front of you on a surface with the pattern side DOWN.

Dust the middle 2” of the pasta sheet all the way down the length of the sheet to prevent the filling from making the pasta soggy.

Start at one short edge of the pasta sheet and work your way along it.

Pipe a 2” line of filling perpendicular to the length of the sheet, centering it.

Roll the edge of the pasta sheet around the filling and once it’s covered, use a straight rolling cutter to cut 1” beyond that.

Roll the sheet once more over your extra 1”. Pinch the resulting caramelle on either side of the filling to make a classic candy shape.

At this point you can either cut the side edges of the caramelle with a fluted rolling cutter, or if you like the rustic look, keep them as-is.

Repeat with remaining filling and pasta until you run out of dough or filling, or ideally, both!

Allow the caramelle to rest for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours at room temperature before boiling. You may also store the pasta on a parchment-lined sheet pan uncovered in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Increase the cooking time by a minute if working with refrigerated pasta.
Boil in salted water for 3 minutes, drain, dress, and serve immediately.

Directions for Browned Butter Sauce

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Continue cooking, and keep a vigilant eye on the butter until it turns light golden brown.

Add the walnuts and cook for 1 minute.

Add the poppy seeds and garam masala, and cook for one minute.

Stir honey and vinegar into the nuts and seeds.

Increase the heat to medium-high and whisk the pasta water into the butter for about 2 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Toss with pasta and serve immediately.

Directions for Rustic Squash Filling

Place the chopped squash in a heatproof bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Microwave on high for 4 minutes

Put the steamed squash in a food processor and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times to incorporate all the ingredients.

Using a silicon spatula, scrape the filling into a gallon-sized zip top bag. Seal the bag and reserve in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until needed.

Keeps for 3 days.

Directions for Kale and Leafy Grean Dough

In medium saucepan over high heat, bring the salt, baking soda, and 8 cups water to a boil. Add the kale and blanch it for 15 seconds. Strain and press out the water. Add kale to a blender and wait a minute or two for it to cool. Add the eggs. Blend the kale and eggs on low speed at first to combine them, then increase the speed and puree until smooth.

Strain the puree to remove any grainy threads of kale. This should yield about 1 cup puree.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour and green puree. Mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. Continue to knead, either by hand or in the mixer, for 3 minutes, so that the dough develops elasticity and silkiness.

Seal the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before sheeting. Alternatively, you can let the dough rest for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The color sometimes intensifies after that, although the dough is still usable for up to 3 days.

Directions for Harissa Dough

In a blender, mix the harissa and eggs on low speed, slowly increasing speed until a smooth puree forms

Combine the flour and puree in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. Continue to knead, either by hand or in the mixer for 3 minutes, so that the dough develops elasticity and silkiness.

Seal the ball of dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before sheeting. Alternatively, you can let the dough rest for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. The color sometimes intensifies after that, although the dough is still useable for up to 3 days.

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