In my mind, pumpkin sauce was the perfect match for pumpkin pasta. Don't worry the pumpkin flavor is actually pretty mild but still tasty (read: it doesn't overdo it). If you don't have pumpkin pasta I would still recommend making this sauce (then you can call your dish creamy pumpkin pasta). It's creamy & when you add the fresh veggies like I did it's a pretty healthful dish (yes there is some cream & cheese in there but the bulk of it is veggies - so eat up!).
P.S. Happy Halloween!
- 1 lb fresh pumpkin pasta (or you can use any boxed kind you have on hand)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 sage leaves, cut into thin strips
- 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup half-&-half
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (plus extra for serving of course!)
- 1 tablespoon white-wine or champagne vinegar (whatever white vinegar you have will do & if you don't have white vinegar how about some white wine?)
- 3 cups fresh baby arugula
- 2 small zucchinis, cut into strips or shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 2-3 cups of reserved pasta water
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper
- Heat a large pot of water over medium-high heat.
- Using a veggie peeler or a mandolin or just a sharp knife shred zucchini into think strips & set aside.
- Mince the garlic & shallots.
- Julienne the sage.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet (that will be big enough to add your pasta to).
- When oil is hot add thyme & sage & flash fry them for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will flavor your oil ever so slightly. Remove the herbs & place on a paper towel to absorb the oil -save your herbs for later.
- In the meantime if you're water in boiling add a good tablespoon of salt (hey we're talking a pound of pasta in a lot of water - 1 tablespoon it is! or you can use less)
- Add pasta.
- Cook pasta until al dente (if you're using fresh the time will be significant less so pay attention). Reserve 3 cups pasta water; drain pasta & set aside in 1/2 cup of the pasta water so it doesn't get stuck together. Carefully (oil is hot and will spatter) add pumpkin puree, garlic, half-and-half, Parmesan, vinegar, red pepper flakes & 1 cup reserved pasta water to skillet. Stir sauce until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add pasta to sauce, and toss to coat. I like to use tongs I think it's the easiest way to mix it all together.
- If sauce is too thick, add some reserved pasta water.
- Season well with salt & pepper.
- Turn the heat off & add the zucchini & arugula & toss well.
- Sprinkle with the reserved herbs. Serve hot with extra Parmesan cheese as you please.