Pumpkin and pie go together like peanut butter and jelly. Pumpkin is famous for being the star of dessert during the holiday season. Pumpkin pies line the table at Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin spice lattes are the standard coffee house specialty drink once the weather turns crisp. There isn’t a dessert table with some kind of pumpkin-focused treat. What about the savory side though? Pumpkin is good for so much more than a custardy filling. Roasted, it has this beautiful, rich flavor that is hearty and can hold it’s own alongside meaty dishes. Pumpkin and turkey chili is a recipe I see floating around during the fall season. And then there are all the variations of pumpkin pasta.
I’m so used to having pumpkin in a sweet form that I wanted to go out of my comfort zone for at least one recipe and have something savory. Enter this gem: creamy pumpkin pasta. It’s a basic pumpkin alfredo with fettuccine noodles. It’s simple to make, quick and satisfying. You may even decide not to have dessert later! The black pepper adds a nice touch of heat to balance the richness of the “sauce” and give it some pizzazz. The pumpkin allows the sauce to coat the pasta in this thick layer which adds a decadence you don't expect. I would even go as far to say that a pinch of crushed red pepper mixed in would be a nice touch. It's up to you!
This recipe in particular uses canned pumpkin but you are more than welcome to use raw pumpkin. It’s a bit extra work to peel and cut it up and then roast it before it’s ready for use. I went through that entire process when making a pumpkin soup out of A Kitchen in France that I talked about earlier this year. Let’s say that if you want to use raw pumpkin, try and find it already carved up and cubed or you’re going to be ready to chuck the knife across the kitchen halfway through the pumpkin. I’m not saying to never try it but don’t say I didn't warn you either.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
1 lb. Fettuccine
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
½ cup Heavy Cream
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
⅛ tsp. Nutmeg
2 tbsp. Butter
Dollop of Creme Fraiche (optional)
1 - Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and toss with butter.
2 - Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the pumpkin, heavy cream, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil and simmer until thick.
3 - Toss the pasta with the pumpkin mixture until the noodles are fully coated. Sprinkle with a hint of black pepper. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche on top.