Bob’s Red Mill Pumpkin Pasta and Furthermore Pinot Noir

Falling leaves, Zom­bies, Witch­es, Ghosts, Sexy… any­things… It’s def­i­nite­ly fall. In­spired by the sea­son, we made pump­kin pas­ta with ama­ranth flour ($6.31 for a 24 oz. bag) from Bob’s Red Mill. The ama­ranth flour adds a de­light­ful nut­ty fla­vor that com­pli­ments the pump­kin. It gave the noo­dles a hearty feel­ing with­out be­com­ing heavy. We topped the noo­dles with a lit­tle olive oil, gar­lic-mint lamb sausage, sauteed fen­nel and wild arugu­la, for a sat­is­fy­ing sea­son­al meal. In the fu­ture we’d like to pair the pump­kin pas­ta (recipe be­low) with our choco­late pas­ta.

Af­ter en­joy­ing the ama­ranth as much as we did, we grew cu­ri­ous and turned to the in­ter­net. It turns out the plant has a love­ly flow­er, and fo­liage, com­ing from the Greek for “un­fad­ing.” It pops up all over in lit­er­a­ture, from an Ae­sop’s  Fa­ble where it dis­cuss­es fleet­ing beau­ty with a rose, to Mil­ton’s Par­adise Lost:

“Im­mor­tal ama­rant, a flow­er which once

In par­adise, fast by the tree of life,

Be­gan to bloom; but soon for man’s of­fence

To heav­en re­moved, where first it grew, there grows,

And flow­ers aloft, shad­ing the fount of life,

And where the riv­er of bliss through midst of heav­en

Rolls o’er elysian flow­ers her am­ber stream:

With these that nev­er fade the spir­its elect

Bind their re­splen­dent locks.”

We feel that good food (and lit­er­a­ture) de­serves good wine as com­pa­ny, so we drank a love­ly bot­tle of Fur­ther­more 2008 Pinot Noir La En­can­ta­da Vine­yard, Sta. Ri­ta Hills. Their web­site sums it up pret­ty well “We are sole­ly fo­cused on mak­ing amaz­ing pinot noir.” They suc­ceed ad­mirably. The wine is $40 a bot­tle, and un­like some we try, tast­ed com­plete­ly worth the price point. This pinot epit­o­mizes ev­ery­thing we like about Cal­i­for­nia pinots. It’s dis­tinct and smooth, with a fresh black­ber­ry or cur­rant nose. We tast­ed jas­mine tea, vanil­la and to­bac­co leaves. This is def­i­nite­ly a wine we’d like to drink again. (And again.)

Back on the top­ic of food, we al­so tried out sev­er­al oth­er prod­ucts from Bob’s Red Mill, and were con­sis­tent­ly im­pressed by the qual­i­ty. They’re par­tic­u­lar­ly known for their gluten-free and or­gan­ic prod­ucts, so if you’re one of the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple who are avoid­ing gluten, you don’t have to say farewell to baked prod­ucts. Miss bread? They have a great whole-grain glu­ton-free bread mix $5.59 for a 20-oz. bag. Oth­er prod­ucts celi­ac dis­ease suf­fers will re­joice over in­clude the glu­ton-free sorghum flour ($3.59 for 22 oz.), trit­cale flour ($2.59 for 24 oz. bag), and all-pur­pose glu­ton-free flour. We al­so en­joyed the ar­row­root starch ($6.19 for 20 oz. bag). Did you know that this South Amer­i­can root got the name be­cause it used to be used for treat­ing wounds from poi­soned ar­rows? Just in case some­one gets a lit­tle over­ly-zeal­ous with their Hal­loween cos­tum­ing, you should have some on hand.

Pump­kin Pas­ta


3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Ama­ranth Flour

1 3/4 cups un­bleached flour

1/2 tea­spoon salt

1 tea­spoon pump­kin pie spice

a dash of cayanne

1/3 cup canned pump­kin

3 large eggs

Equip­ment: Cuisi­nart (or oth­er food pro­ces­sor) and Kitchen Aid with Pas­ta At­tach­ment


Make dough:

Pulse to­geth­er all in­gre­di­ents in the Cuisi­nart (ex­cept for the ex­tra flour) un­til mix­ture just be­gins to form a ball. Knead dough on a flat sur­face, adding ex­tra flour  as need­ed, un­til smooth and elas­tic (About eight min­utes.). Di­vide dough in­to four pieces and wrap each in plas­tic wrap un­til ready to roll out.

Roll out dough:

At­tach the kitchen aid pas­ta roller at­tach­ment. If this is your first time us­ing it, make sure that the end square rests firm­ly in the groove- some­times it takes a bit of twist­ing. Al­so re­mem­ber to screw the nob in­to the groove point of the at­tach­ment each time- the falling pas­ta at­tach­ment is haz­ardous to toes. Set the smooth rollers on “1″ - the widest set­ting and turn on the Kitchen Aid to the 2-4 pow­er set­ting range. Flat­ten one of the dough sec­tions and send it through the rollers, catch­ing it as it comes out. Set the rollers to “3″ and re­peat. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough strip in half length-wise if it grows un­wieldy. Set the rollers to “5″ and re­peat a fi­nal time.

Cut Pas­ta:

At­tach Pas­ta cut­ting at­tach­ment (I pre­fer the wider one.). Feed flat­tened pieces through the roller, catch­ing the love­ly noo­dles as they come through. Drape them over a cook­ie tray cov­ered in parch­ment pa­per or a clean, dry tow­el. Gen­tly de­tach them for each oth­er to pre­vent clump­ing.

Cook in boil­ing wa­ter for 4 min., or un­til done to taste.

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