SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Pumpkin eats aren’t just limited to pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice lattes, and pumpkin pies. Pumpkin puree is now fully stocked in grocery stores and can be used in a whole lot of dishes… including your pasta alfredo.
Through college I worked in several restaurants to pay for tuition and books. As a result, I picked up some things about cooking from our amazing executive chefs. They taught me that the trick to cooking something you love is to experiment with different spices and flavorings.
For example, I learned that with a roux the cooking process starts the same. You take components like butter, flour, and milk and begin to build your sauce. The possibilities are endless if you add to the initial stages of cooking.
The same goes with Alfredo and any other cheese sauce you would like to try. So we tried pumpkin!
Once you figure out what kind of pasta and topping you want, you can decide how thick you want your sauce. If you’re working with a bowtie or penne pasta, thicker sauces are good. For tortellinis or raviolis which are filled with cheese already, you may opt for a lighter or thinner sauce.
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, half and half, or 2% milk
- ½ can pumpkin puree
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan (and some extra for garnishing)
- 1 pound pasta
- 6 sage leaves, chopped
For our recipe we went with bow tie pasta, so we used heavy whipping cream. You can also use half and half for an in between kind of sauce.
- Chop up sage leaves and set aside.
- Boil the pasta and set it aside.
- Using the same big pot, you'll make your roux. Start by melting two tablespoons of the butter. Add about one teaspoon of garlic powder to the mixture until it bubbles up but isn’t burning. Add in the flour and stir until it looks like a pasty ball.
- Slowly add in the cream and whisk until it looks like a thick sauce. Start adding in the half cup of pumpkin, and continue mixing.
- Throw in the teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of black pepper. Add a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon.
- Slowly add in the cup of parmesan cheese. You want a cheesy consistency that looks like a mac and cheese sauce.
- Once it’s all melted, throw in the bow tie pasta and stir.
- Get your chopped sage leaves and sprinkle over the pasta.
- When serving, garnish the dish with freshly grated parmesan and fresh pepper.
Note: You can also add chicken or your favorite vegetarian options like red bell pepper or mushrooms to add protein and change up the flavor.