Fall calls for sweet comforts. And this recipe has October written all over it.
It’s an autumnal twist on fettuccine Alfredo: thick homemade egg noodles bathed in a creamy pumpkin sage sauce with a dusting of freshly shaved parmesan and nutmeg.
If you have time, do roast up a small pumpkin to make your own purée, it takes only moments and in my opinion tastes better than the canned stuff. A small pie pumpkin will give you plenty of purée for this recipe with just enough left over for a pumpkin smoothie the following morning (simply blend the leftover purée with a little honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk of your choice. Mmm!)
If you’re pressed for time, you can certainly use store bought pasta for this recipe. But pasta is surprisingly easy to make at home and such a delight to prepare. Plus the flavor and texture of fresh noodles is incomparable!
You can roll out your pasta by hand and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife if you don’t own a pasta maker. Heck, I’ve even used a wine bottle to roll it out when I couldn’t find my rolling pin, as you can see in my nettle fettuccine pasta video from last year.
The addition of puréed pumpkin and a little minced sage right in the pasta dough will give your fettuccine a unique color and flavor.
The sage chip garnish is optional, but highly recommended. They take only minutes to make and if you’ve never had them before, sage chips will revolutionize your life! They are a crispy flavor explosion and I’ve been eating them on everything since I discovered how easy they are to make.
May your month of October be cozy and filled with delicious comfort foods!
Creamy Pumpkin Sage Fettuccine
- For the Creamy Pumpkin Sage Sauce:
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
- 3/4 cup half and half cream
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (about half of a small roasted pumpkin)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Grated nutmeg, to taste
- For the Homemade Pumpkin Sage Pasta (or substitute 1 lb. of storebought fettuccine):
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 2 small eggs
- A few finely minced sage leaves (optional)
- A pinch of ground turmeric (optional, for a deeper color)
- For the Sage Chips (optional garnish):
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or another good non-GMO frying oil)
- pinch of sea salt
- You can make the pasta by hand or you can use a food processor if you prefer. In a small bowl, whisk the turmeric and sage into the flour. Pour the flour onto a clean surface, heaped in a mound, and use your hand to make an indentation in the middle. Crack the two eggs and into this hollow space and add the pumpkin purée as well. Blend the eggs and pumpkin with a fork, slowly incorporating them into the flour and pushing in more flour with your other hand. As the dough starts to come together, use your hands to gradually begin to shape it into a rough ball, collecting all the remaining flour as you go. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth. If the dough is too dry, add a tiny bit of water, half a teaspoon at a time. The dough should feel a little sticky. However, bits of dough should not be sticking to your hands or the countertop. If it is too sticky, add a little flour (a tablespoonful at a time), continuing to knead between each addition. Cover with a damp clean cloth, and allow the dough to rest for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, cut the ball into 8 pieces. Dust a clean surface with a generous amount of flour and use a rolling pin (or a pasta maker) to roll each piece of dough as thinly as you can, into a long rectangular shape. Continually dust the rolled dough with flour to make sure it doesn't stick. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into fettuccine-sized strips. Dust with flour again to prevent the noodles from sticking and lay them out on a baking sheet until you are ready to cook them.
- To make the sauce, mix the pumpkin purée and cream together using a blender or hand blender. In a large skillet, melt the butter and minced sage over low heat. Add the pumpkin and cream purée to the sage butter and stir. Bring to barely a simmer and turn off the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place aside until pasta has been boiled.
- To make the sage chips, pour the oil in a small skillet or saucepan and place over medium heat. The oil is hot enough when sage leaf dropped in starts to sizzle right away. Fry a few sage leaves at a time, just until crispy. It takes about 15 seconds, depending on how hot your oil is. Do not let them burn or turn brown. Remove from the hot oil and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of about 4 quarts of water to boil. Add a tablespoonful of salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Stir the pasta gently to prevent from sticking together. Cook for about one minute. Place your pumpkin sage sauce back on medium-low heat and bring the pot of pasta close to skillet. Using tongs, quickly remove the pasta from the water and transfer it directly into the pumpkin sauce. You do not need to drain the pasta, a little water in the sauce is fine. Add all but a tablespoonful of the grated parmesan and cook over low heat for one to two more minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is cooked to your liking. Do not overcook or the pasta will get mushy. Serve immediately and top with the rest of the grated parmesan, a little grated nutmeg, and the sage chips.
Yield: 4 servings, makes 1 pound of pasta
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. Her web series was nominated for a 2014 James Beard Award. In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.