Pink pasta with cheese sauce

March 1, 2011  •  Category:


Making pasta at home is a lot more forgiving and taste a hundred times better than store-bought; even the so-called fresh pasta places don’t make it that thin, the most critical factor in a good pasta in my humble opinion.

Anyway, if you make the dough the night before, wrap it in wax paper, and roll it out the next evening, you can make fresh pasta in the amount of time it would take to watch a show on television.

I use a rolling pin; pasta machines are a hassle, so I don’t bother with them. In addition, with a rolling pin I can stretch the pasta as thin as I want.

And I want it paper-thin!

So I use a big rolling pin, roll it out as thin as possible, cut it in wide strips and then re-roll each strip until paper-thin. That’s it!

To store it, I place the strips on cookie sheets sprinkled with flour or cornmeal.

Use the strips right away or cover and store for a day or longer. Nothing bad will happen.

INGREDIENTS: 8 to 10 servings

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 ounces of  cooked squash (kabocha, pumpkin, acorn), cut in chunks
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 3 drops of red food color
  • For the cheese sauce: 6 ounces of swiss cheese or jarlsberg and 12 ounces of mozzarella, 1/2 cup of whipping cream (2 ounces) and 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and a dash of Aleppo pepper or smoked paprika.
  • Garnish: 6 Tablespoons of chopped parsley and 6 tablespoons of coarsely chopped pistachios (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. To make the pasta: Place the eggs in the work bowl of a food processor; run the machine for a minute until the eggs are well-mixed; add the squash and mix some more until the squash and egg mixture is as homogenous as possible.
  2. Add the flour and salt to this mixture and process until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Remove from the bowl and on a floured work surface, knead the ball of dough for about 5 minutes until smooth. Cover with wax paper and set aside until ready to roll out. (Wait at least 30 minutes to roll out- if waiting longer, grease the surface of the pasta to prevent a skin from forming)
  3. To make the cheese sauce: Place the butter in a saucepan and melt it; add the cream and cheeses and melt the mixture slowly. When melted, set aside on a warm plate to transfer to the pasta serving platter.
  4. To roll the pasta: Cut the ball of pasta in half, keeping the other wrapped in wax paper. Roll it out as thin as possible with the rolling pin. Cut in strips, using a pizza cutter or a pasta cutter. On the other side of the work surface, sprinkle some flour and roll the pasta one strip at a time until paper-thin. Place each strip on a cookie sheet (n which you have sprinkled cornmeal or some flour); let the strips air dry until you finish rolling the dough.
  5. Stack the strips on wax paper, sprinkled with cornmeal or flour as well. Now heat 2 quarts of salted water in a large pot, and when boiling drop the pasta strips and boil for one to two minutes, depending on how dry the strips are. Drain and place in a large serving platter or lasagne pan. Pour the cheese sauce and coat it well.
  6. At serving time, place the serving pan in a 350F oven for a few minutes to heat the pasta and melt the residual cheese in the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and pistachios and offer some fresh black peppercorns at the table.

NOTE: The drops of red color are strictly to give the pasta that salmon hue which I like (my house is tiled with this color!); if you don’t use it, the pasta will be yellow with specks of orange from the squash.

You can make the pasta by hand if you like, which would make an even better pasta. Place the flour in a mound and form a crater in the middle and place the eggs and squash in the crater. Use a fork and beat the eggs and squash first and then with the flour, until the flour is all used up; knead for ten minutes until smooth.

To roll the strips of pasta I used wooden rods I found in a craft store.


48 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. domi says:

    Bonjour Joumana, des ” girly ” pâtes avec cette sauce gourmande au fromage qui saurait y résister…pas moi en tout les cas. Une petite assiette bien appétissante même pour les ” garçons “, bisous et passe une belle journée

  2. citronetvanille says:

    Salut Joumana, après ces mois d’absence, je reviens te rendre une petite visite et je tombe sur cette recette trop appétissante de pâtes fraîches! On en prendrait bien une petite assiette, je les sens jusqu’ici! hmmm

  3. Sarah says:

    The color of the pasta is beautiful. Not to mention the sauce sounds quite delicious!

  4. oum mouncifrayan says:

    miammmm, c’est délcieux ça! bravo et merci du partage, j’aime bien l’ustensile..

  5. Diane says:

    My ‘to do’ list is growing but this is going to the top. It sounds fantastic and i have a husband who loooooooves pasta. 🙂 Diane

  6. Sonia says:

    Homemade pasta sound so healthy and good.

  7. Banana Wonder says:

    You really inspire me to try making pasta by hand. I have always thought you needed a pasta machine. I love how your strips look and I bet they taste amazing. Thanks for this recipe!

  8. Rosa says:

    A lovely dish! I love homemade pasta and make some on a regular basis.



  9. Nuts about food says:

    I tried once recently to make pasta at home, but wasn’t able to get it that thin. Now that I see your lovely pasta, I have new hope and will try again. Perseverance.

  10. FOODESSA says:

    OMG…where do I start?
    First, I’m certainly not the pasta maker in the family…my MIL is the one that spoils us every so often with this homemade delicacy.
    I don’t own a machine and probably won’t for quite a while…but…I do own a rolling pin. I need a little arm muscle workout and would love to offer this beautiful dish to her as well. I think she’ll be impressed ;o)

    BTW…for the coloring…at first, I thought you may have used ‘Ajvar’…would that be a good substitute? If so, how much do you think I could add without ruining the chemistry of your pasta?
    Can you tell how excited I am 😉

    Have a great day and flavourful wishes,

  11. Jamie says:

    Wow you must have some muscles to roll out pasta by hand and this thin. Love the pink color! So light and feminine and perfect with the luscious cheese sauce!

  12. Sutapa says:

    I never knew you can make such perfect pasta using rolling pin. Love the color of the pasta and I am sure the way you make it, it will taste great!

  13. Priya says:

    Fabulous looking pink pasta, u made them from stratch thats truly wonderful..

  14. Caffettiera says:

    Funny enough I never made pasta with a food processor, only by hand, but I always use my grandma’s pasta machine. Even when I want it extra thin, I always start with the machine, and then go ahead with my rolling pin. Everyone has its favourite technique, it is just a matter of finding what works best for you! I love the colour of the pasta, I was just wondering if you have tried adding a bit of tomato concentrate instead of the red food colouring? I know some people use it in Italy. I usually make pink pasta with beetroots – lovely colour, but more purple than salmon.

    • Joumana says:

      @Caffettiera: That’s why I value so much your input! I have not tried tomato paste and will next time! Great idea, thanks!

  15. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Oh you are so making me want to make pasta now, something I have put of because I find it is a lot of trouble…but now I want to make it. That is you ultimate evil plan isn’t ij Joumana ;-). Looks amazing

  16. Toby says:

    Homemade pastas are so much better than ANYTHING you buy at the market. I adore the light pink color!

  17. 5 Star Foodie says:

    I love the pink color, so pretty!

  18. Nadji says:

    Les pâtes sont aussi gourmandes que leur sauce.
    J’en mangerai sans retenue.
    A très bientôt.

  19. Dana says:

    What a gorgeous pink! I’ve been contemplating making pasta for a while now, maybe I should take the plunge.

  20. Carol says:

    So pretty and so delicious! Looks fantastic!

  21. Sharon@ Fun and Life says:

    Joumana, this is the PRETTIEST pasta I have ever seen lol. I love that peachy pink colour! that cheese sauce looks so good too! You are such an amazing cook with such inspiring recipes. I really must try out your food and recipes soon (and pray I do it justice! lol).

  22. Nadia says:

    The color of your pasta is stunning. I have never made fresh pasta, but I know the difference in taste is out of this world.

    I love your sauce as well. 🙂

  23. Namitha says:

    So very beautiful..totally in love with the pink 🙂

  24. rebecca says:

    wow great pasta I so need to make it from scratch sometime

  25. Chiara says:

    Looks fantastic Joumana! Tres chic….

  26. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    That is stunning! Your photos make me hungry! 🙂

  27. Jen_from_NJ says:

    Your pasta is just gorgeous!

  28. Adelina says:

    I am inspired by your handmade pasta. It looks great! I need to get myself a pasta cutter – I have never seen that tool before.

  29. UrMomCooks says:

    A rolling pin…do you promise I can do this??? I long to make pasta but do not have a pasta machine… You have inspired me to maybe do this… I appreciate your step by step instructions!

  30. Magic of Spice says:

    I love making fresh pasta and I love the look of yours…what a lovely idea 🙂
    Hope you are having a wonderful week…

  31. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

    Your pasta looks amazing, Joumana. I bet it tastes even more beautiful than it looks!

  32. Mark Wisecarver says:

    Perfect timeing, I’m currently working on two Pasta blog posts.
    With and without a machine, but yes homemade is the way. 🙂

  33. Amanda says:

    I’ve never made pasta at home, but it is on my “to do” list.
    Yours is such a delicate pink colour Joumana, it looks like smoked salmon!

  34. sophia says:

    How freaking talented are you? I know if I attempted this, mine would be a total hack-job. I love that you just used a simple rolling pin…the pasta looks gorgeous!

  35. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

    Your pasta looks lovely! I don;t have a machine, and have only rolled out pasta by hand – but I can never seem to get it thin enough! I love teh idea of rolling out each strip again once it’s cut.

  36. Heavenly Housewife says:

    Next week I plan to challenge myself and make pasta for the first time. Your version looks simply lovely!
    *kisses* HH

  37. PJ says:

    Oh my!You have such patience to make it at home.Lovely hue.

  38. Joanne says:

    Pumpkin pasta! I’m in love with this already! Looks delicious.

  39. Barbara says:

    Pink pasta! What fun. I’ve never made pasta with OR without a machine, but my grandmother did it all the time. Now you’ve given me the incentive to try. And I have her old recipe too!
    What a gorgeous photo, Joumana.

  40. Jarlsberg USA says:

    This dish looks scrumptious! Reminds me of a beet-infused pasta we made for Valentine’s Day (a soft pink). And when it comes to melting, you can’t ask for a better (or more delicious) cheese than Jarlsberg. Thanks for including it!

    Casey Benedict
    on behalf of

  41. grace says:

    how lovely! i’m such a sucker for all things pink. 🙂

  42. Rajani@eatwritethink says:

    i know this will be my daughter’s favourite! pink pasta!

  43. Citron says:

    When I see this, it makes me think that I don’t make enough pastas…. These look lovely.

  44. Lea Ann says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I got a pasta machine for Christmas and would have to agree, it was somewhat of a hassle. I do want to try pasta free hand. You’ve inspired me. This recipe sounds really good and such a pretty photo.

  45. Jean says:

    I love this! I’m almost over my fear of making my own pasta so maybe sooner, rather than later, I’ll be able to try this dish myself. I was thinking of incorporating spinach into my first experiment but I really like that you used squash. I love the salmon-y color, too, and the cheesy simplicity of the sauce. And yes, I like my pasta super thin like you do, too. 🙂

  46. Julie says:

    Tes pâtes maison sont extra, même si cela prend du temps, le goût est inimitable…. avec la sauce au fromage, ça en fait un plat très gourmand ! J’aime beaucoup la couleur aussi, c’est très ludique !

  47. Sonia Rumzi says:

    This is an amazing recipe. Thank you again.

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