I’ll start this off by pointing out something wrong with the picture: this sauce should really be served with fettucine or pappardelle, something wider and flatter than the spaghetti I had in the cupboard. That said, this was a pleasant little surprise of a dinner. Let me set the stage: it’s the middle of my husband’s finals week, we haven’t grocery shopped in a month for real food (just baking supplies, and, yes, this is a slight exaggeration) and I am tired. I am also hungry. I know that I want mushrooms in my dinner and I have some pumpkin to use that I had set aside for ravioli. At this point, ravioli-making was not an option, so I got creative. I am sure this happens to other people, but when I accidentally invent a tasty dinner, I get really excited, and such was the case with this happy mistake. It is a thick sauce, slightly nutty and with the flavors I love from a great squash soup; I am thinking about trying it next time in place of bechamel in a veggie lasagna. And there will be a next time: it was a nice change from pesto, alfredo or marinara, our standard pasta sauces.
Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce (serves 4)
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, diced small
- 1 T. fresh sage, chopped
- 1 c. button, white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 c. pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp. fresh or dried chives, chopped
- 1/4 c. chicken or veggie stock (white wine might work, too)
- 1/2 c. whole milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- freshly grated parmesan cheese to garnish
- 1/2 lb. cooked pasta with 1/2 c. cooking water reserved
In a skillet on medium, heat the olive oil and then saute the shallots for 3-5 mins., until softened. Add sage to the pan and stir; add mushrooms and cook for 5 mins.; they should be softening but still fairly firm. Add pumpkin, chives and stock and stir to combine. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 7-10 mins., stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/burning. Add milk and cook only until mixture is warmed through; don’t allow sauce to boil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Add drained pasta and cooking water, as needed, to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. Serve with parmesan cheese as a garnish if you like.