I was introduced to a revolutionary machine recently, one that will definitely change the way I cook. Thermomix is a new kitchen phenomenon in the U.S., but has been used in Europe, Australia and in other foreign locales for over 25 years. This aesthetically futuristic appliance essentially takes on the role of your blender, food processor, stand mixer, slow cooker, and steamer; it also has a scale (so now I don’t even have to worry about replacing the battery on my old one).
Right now, you can order a Thermomix through a trained consultant and they will come to your house and walk you through all of its features. A few weeks ago, Karen arrived at my door, and in an hour and a half, we created the most delicious lemonade, baked focaccia bread, created a chicken pizzaiola that consisted of steaming chicken and making a zesty tomato sauce at the same time, and whipping up a Berry Dream dessert in minutes. As a personal chef, where I’m making multiple recipes at once, the idea of using a Thermomix is truly a game changer for my cook dates.
The other amazing part of Thermomix is its Cook-Key. You hook this up to the Thermomix and it interfaces through Wi-Fi with an account that you set up on their online Cookidoo platform where you can download thousands of guided recipes, organize cook dates with their recipes (you can even email yourself grocery lists through it). Once you download recipes to your Cook-Key, you can bring them up on your Thermomix and it will automatically walk you through them, making cooking such a breeze — especially if you are multitasking.
After browsing through their bank of recipes, I learned how to adapt my own for the Thermomix. Dishes that would take me an hour or longer to cook are now made more efficiently in less time. My Linguini with Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Sauce was the perfect test for the Termomix. Normally, when I make this I’m roasting, blending and boiling, food processing, and using multiple pans and appliances. The dish always turns out tasty, but there’s so much cleanup. It’s pretty astonishing how easy this is to do it with the Thermomix. I basically have to rinse out its mixing bowl a few times and then wash one other pan. I can process the hazelnuts, steam the squash, sautee the onion and garlic, and blend the sauce together the mixing bowl. Did I mention that the Thermomix makes pasta? You can boil it right in its mixing bowl and drain it through Thermomix’s Varoma dish. This cuts down on my total cooking and cleanup time (every part of the Thermomix can go into the dishwasher!) tremendously.
Linguini with Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Sauce is a rich, yet surprisingly healthy dish. Instead of using butter and cream, you’re developing flavors with Greek yogurt, feta cheese, and hazelnuts. The type of milk you use it up to you. I actually used unsweetened original almond milk (you can make that in the Thermomix too) for this. I’ve also made this recipe with goat’s milk yogurt which has a more pungent flavor that blends so well with the sweetness of the squash. Like most pasta dishes, this is best when served immediately, or at least hot. If you reheat it, you may want to add a little water to add moisture to the sauce.
- 1 cup hazelnuts, peeled and blanched
- 16 ounces butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 red onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sage
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (whole milk)
- 5 ounces feta cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 12 ounces linguini
- Add 28 ounces of water to the mixing bowl. Fit it with the simmering basket and add the squash cubes and simmer 22 minutes/Varoma/speed 2.
- While the squash is simmering, toast hazelnuts in a skillet or oven until they become light brown and fragrant, around 5 minutes. Make sure not to crowd the pan.
- When squash is finished steaming, set it aside in a bowl. Dry out the mixing bowl and put hazelnuts into it and chop 5 sec/speed 6. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- Add onions, garlic, and sage to the mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/speed 5.
- Add olive oil, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt to the mixing bowl. Sauté 5 min/250 degrees F/speed 1.
- Scrape down sides and add butternut squash to the mixture along with milk, Greek yogurt, feta cheese, and half of the hazelnuts. Blend the mixture 1 minute/speed 10. Scrape down sides and blend again for 1 minute/speed 10.
- Turn the sauce out into a deep sautee pan, stock pot or Dutch oven.
- Cook the pasta by placing 40 ounces of water in the mixing bowl. Boil 10 min./212 F/speed 1. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the water and put pasta through the hole in the mixing bowl lid. Cook 10 min/212 F/reverse/speed 1.
- Drain pasta through the Varoma dish, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and add pasta to the pot with the sauce. Combine pasta with sauce over low to medium-low heat. Add some of the pasta water if the mixture needs more moisture.
- Plate pasta topped with the reserved chopped hazelnuts and garnished with sage (optional).