Monday, October 21, 2013

Archive Recipe of the Week: Pumpkin Alfredo

Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce is great in so many ways and for so many reasons. It’s easy. It’s delicious. It ushers in pumpkin season without much fuss. In the original post, I had served it over cheese tortellini, but I recently served it with some delicious four-cheese ravioli, and it would be great tossed with just about any noodle you like.

This recipe is quite rich, which, to me, means I can enjoy a small serving and stretch one pan of sauce and pasta over a few meals (although the sauce can separate a little when reheated. I don’t mind.) I’m beginning to think this could be lightened a bit by using half and half instead of heavy cream, or by adding a little or a lot more pureed pumpkin or squash. Next time I make it, I think I’ll try the latter idea, since I rarely have anything against more squash, at least for the next month or so.

You could also stir some sautéed or roasted vegetables into your pasta and Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce. Since this is so simple there’s lots of room for trying new variations. And since it’s so delicious, it would be pretty difficult to ruin it by trying some of those brilliant ideas I know you have.


Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

hot cooked tortellini or ravioli, from about18-20 ounces fresh or frozen
about ½ cup cooking water from the pasta

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup pumpkin or winter squash puree (canned is fine)
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
about 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup grated parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano

¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
finely chopped parsley and additional parmesan for garnish, if desired

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and just beginning to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more.

2. Add the pumpkin and cook about 1 minute more, stirring frequently. Add the cream and stir until smooth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil gently for about 5 minutes or until the cream begins to thicken.

4. Stir in the nutmeg, Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Stir in the cooked pasta and cook just until well coated and heated through. Add some of the reserved cooking water if the sauce seems too thick. Serve with parsley garnish and additional parmesan cheese if desired.

Makes about 4 servings.

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