The best pastas for a fall weekend

A filling pasta dish is the perfect comfort food for cool fall evenings. Save these quick and easy recipes and prepare restaurant-quality pasta at home – delicious sausage pasta for meat-eaters and spicy pumpkin pasta for vegetable lovers.

Spicy pumpkin pasta

Chili will spice up the autumnal pumpkin pasta. The ceramic Mauste set is from Marimekko, the fork is from Georg Jensen’s New York cutlery series and the Spring glass from Architectmade. The large Force steel tray is made by Normann Copenhagen.

Four ground rules for cooking excellent pasta:

1. Plenty of water

Use the biggest pot you can find in your kitchen cupboard. A five-liter pot is optimal for 450 grams of pasta. If the pot is small, the pasta won’t be able to move when it’s boiling, and the result is a large clump of unevenly cooked pasta.

2. A generous dose of salt

According to an old saying, pasta should be cooked in water as salty as the Mediterranean Sea. Use a generous quantity of coarse sea salt, so that the pasta will soak in flavor from the water. If the water does not contain salt, no amount of salt added in cooked pasta can make the pasta delicious.

3. Chewiness

An easy ground rule is to cook the pasta for a minute less than what is recommended on the package. However, it is worthwhile to taste the pasta before draining it: when it’s still slightly chewy, but the consistency is not floury, the pasta is ready.

4. Pasta is not a potato

Italians do not serve the sauce and the pasta separately but mix them. If needed, some of the sauce will be served separately for those who wish to have more. A sauce that has been stirred in with the pasta will prevent the pasta from drying out and give it more flavor. When you add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan with the sauce at the end of cooking, it will soak in all the flavors.

Delicious sausage pasta

A richer red wine works well with the sausage pasta. The Stripes tea towel and the Soft cutting board are by Skagerak, the gray Teema plates by Iittala.

Two recipes for a quick pasta dish:

Sausage pasta (serves 4)

Ingredients:
500 g fresh/uncooked sausages
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 carton of cherry tomatoes
2 dl red wine
salt and black pepper
450 g dry pasta
parmesan

Delicious sausage pasta

The bowl from Arabia's 24h collection will serve a generous portion of sausage pasta. The cutlery is from Georg Jensen’s New York series.

Do as follows:
Add the olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, fennel seeds and minced rosemary to the pan. Heat up until the spices are fragrant. Squeeze the inside of the sausages to the frying pan and fry on medium heat until the sausages gain color. Add the chopped cherry tomatoes and the red wine. Let simmer until the wine has reduced by half and the tomatoes are mushy.

Boil water in a large pot. When the water is boiling, add a generous amount of coarse sea salt followed by the pasta. Stir the pasta so that it doesn’t stick together and let it cook for a minute less than what is recommended on the package. Save one deciliter of the cooking water, drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Stir the sausage mixture in with the pasta and slowly add cooking water until the pasta is moist, but not watery. Add a large handful of parmesan and stir. Taste and if needed, add salt.

Grate some parmesan on top of the dish. A strong and spicy red wine, such as the juicy LaSelva Privo with a hint of fennel, goes well with the sausage pasta.

Spicy pumpkin pasta

The Sild teak tray is by Skagerak and can also be used as a cutting board. Also featured are Georg Jensen’s Alfredo pepper mill and Fiskars’ Norr vegetable knife.

Pumpkin pasta (serves 4)

Ingredients:
500 g pumpkin (e.g. butternut squash)
1/2 pot of fresh sage
1 fresh chili or 1 tsp dried chili flakes
1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp butter
salt and black pepper
450 g dry pasta
Pecorino Romano cheese

Spicy pumpkin pasta

Serve the spicy pumpkin pasta with grated pecorino cheese. The white plate is from Arabia’s KoKo series.

Do as follows:
Cut the pumpkin in half and peel it. Remove the seeds and chop the pumpkin into 1-cm cubes. Place the cubes in an oven pan and add the sage leaves, chili, olive oil and butter. Season with salt and black pepper and mix the pumpkin cubes with the spices. Roast in the oven at 200°C for 30–40 minutes, or until the pumpkin is cooked, but not yet mushy.

Boil water in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, add a generous amount of coarse sea salt followed by the pasta. Stir so that the pasta doesn’t stick together and let it cook for a minute less than what is recommended on the package. Save 1 dl of the cooking water, drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Add the pumpkin cubes and all the fluids in with the pasta, stir and add a handful of grated pecorino cheese. If needed, add some cooking water so that the pasta is moist. Taste and add salt if needed.

Grate some pecorino cheese on top of the dish. A medium acidic white wine, such as Jean-Baptiste Adam Pinot will work well with the sweetness of the pumpkin.

Text and images: Suvi Kesäläinen

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