Pumpkin Pasta Alfredo

I am a sucker for unique pasta shapes. I just can’t help myself. Traditional varieties are also fun, like bucatini and radiatore, but if I come across pumpkin-shaped pasta, like I did recently at Trader Joe’s, I just have to grab it.

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I wasn’t sure how sturdy the little pumpkin pastas would be once cooked, so I didn’t want to make a really heavy sauce. Instead I decided on the recipe that first introduced me to fettuccine al burro, also known as alfredo sauce, from the Italian cookbook of the Time-Life Foods of the World Cookbook. The word burro reminds me of donkeys, so I prefer the term alfredo!

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The recipe is really straight-forward. It’s practically equal parts butter, cream, and Parmesan. Yes, it’s pretty rich. You’re welcome.

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Pumpkin Pasta Alfredo
Adapted from The Cooking of Italy

8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly and finely grated Parmesan
14 ounces dried pasta, cooked according to the package
Freshly grated Parmesan

Cream the softened butter by beating it vigorously against the sides of a large, heavy bowl with a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the cream a little at a time, and then, a few tablespoonfuls at a time, beat in the grated cheese.

Cover the bowl and set it aside. It needs to stay at room temperature.

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Cook the pasta, test for bite, then drain in a colander.

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Place the hot pasta in the bowl with the creamed butter and cheese mixture and toss gently until the pasta is evenly coated.

Taste and season generously with salt and pepper; I used a little salt and white pepper.

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You can also add thinly-sliced white truffle, which is included in the original recipe.

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I instead added a few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg.

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Offer extra grated cheese because, you can never have too much cheese!

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Note: I came across pumpkin-shaped pasta at Williams-Sonoma a week or so after I purchased this package at Trader Joe’s. It was almost five times the price!

By Published On: November 4th, 201667 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

67 Comments

  1. Nadia November 4, 2016 at 6:33 AM - Reply

    What cute shapes and they seem to have held their shape beautifully.

    • chef mimi November 4, 2016 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      They did! They held their shapes nicely!

  2. David Crichton November 4, 2016 at 7:05 AM - Reply

    Hi Mimi, I have to admit I’m not a pasta person. Ravilois and lasagne are acceptable. I love these shapes though. Like little pumpkins. I like the way sauce can get into them, a bit like conchiglie.

    • chef mimi November 4, 2016 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      I completely accept that. I’m just a fall/autumn lover, whether it’s food or fireplaces or cardigans and leaves!

  3. bitsandbreadcrumbs November 4, 2016 at 9:31 AM - Reply

    What great pasta shapes! Never seen those in a store. And Alfredo sauce, who doesn’t love that rich and comforting stuff? I’m a sucker for it. What a pretty fall dish this makes!

    • chef mimi November 4, 2016 at 10:41 AM - Reply

      I was impressed with the quality of this pasta. I think it came to $2.16 !

  4. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward November 4, 2016 at 10:03 AM - Reply

    I would be tempted to through a few tablespoons of puréed pumpkin into the beautiful sauce! Looks so tasty! Cute little pumpkin pastas, they are definitely worth it! ☺️

    • chef mimi November 4, 2016 at 10:40 AM - Reply

      I totally understand that! But if you haven’t had this recipe, do try it once. It’s magnificent with any pasta!

  5. Gerlinde @ Sunnycovechef November 4, 2016 at 10:58 AM - Reply

    I am going to visit a friend in Connecticut , she is a vegetarian and this would be a wonderful dish to share. Thanks Mimi!

  6. patrick @alldayieat.com November 4, 2016 at 11:11 AM - Reply

    Nice shapes there!!

  7. Josette@thebrookcook November 4, 2016 at 11:49 AM - Reply

    Love this! I used these noodles as well recently- with roasted butternut squash, bacon, & cheese. :)

  8. The Cooking spoon November 4, 2016 at 2:42 PM - Reply

    These are so adorable, the recipe sounds delicious.

  9. Food Meanderings November 4, 2016 at 9:49 PM - Reply

    Cute- I have never seen pasta in this shape!

  10. Laura @ Feast Wisely November 4, 2016 at 10:31 PM - Reply

    Yum Chef Mimi – I love how this heroes such simple ingredients 😄

  11. anotherfoodieblogger November 4, 2016 at 10:38 PM - Reply

    What a great fall side dish Mimi!!

  12. Bam's Kitchen November 5, 2016 at 7:12 AM - Reply

    How adorable are these little pumpkin shaped pasta and with some simple flavors that are sure to be a hit this fall.

  13. dishinwithdidi November 5, 2016 at 7:12 AM - Reply

    I absolutely just drooled! I too am a sucker for unusual shaped pastas. Problem is I never seem to find them again darn it! I love the addition of the nutmeg Mimi, you had me at “alfredo”!!

    • chef mimi November 9, 2016 at 7:33 AM - Reply

      The pasta is cute, but this is a wonderful recipe! And so simple.

  14. Loretta November 5, 2016 at 8:09 AM - Reply

    How seasonal this dish had to have been. Love anything from TJ’s, it is just so unsual. Looks like a comforting bowl for the Fall weather.

    • chef mimi November 9, 2016 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      They are so cute, but especially for $2.16 they were high quality pasta!

  15. Culinary Flavors November 5, 2016 at 12:19 PM - Reply

    I love Alfredo sauce and this pumpkin shaped pasta is so cute!

    • chef mimi November 7, 2016 at 7:36 AM - Reply

      They are adorable. Kids would love them!

  16. Debra November 5, 2016 at 4:14 PM - Reply

    This is simply beautiful! I bought my bag of pumpkin-shaped pasta at Trader Joes just yesterday and wasn’t sure how I would decide to prepare it. Now I know! I love the addition of nutmeg!

  17. chefceaser November 6, 2016 at 7:16 AM - Reply

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser and commented:
    This is a really great recipe.

  18. Michelle November 6, 2016 at 7:43 AM - Reply

    What cute pasta!

  19. Cocoa & Lavender November 6, 2016 at 8:29 AM - Reply

    I love this shape, and I bet it went perfectly with the sauce! You know, I have never made an Alfreddo sauce. It’s about time, don’t you think?

    • chef mimi November 7, 2016 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      Its not the goopy yellowy stuff you get at bad italian restaurants ( not that either of us do that) but it’s rich and fluffy!

  20. Linda November 6, 2016 at 3:16 PM - Reply

    I love finding different shapes and flavors of pasta too! This one truly is a winner – and the sauce you chose was absolutely the right one! Looks delicious Mimi :)
    On my recent visit to Italy I asked for ‘burro’ every time they brought bread to the table – I just love butter!!! Thanks for sharing :)

    • chef mimi November 7, 2016 at 7:33 AM - Reply

      Thank you! Burro is such wonderful stuff! Especially European butter!

      • Linda November 7, 2016 at 8:03 AM

        Agree!! 💗

  21. Kathryn Grace November 6, 2016 at 8:25 PM - Reply

    What a wonderful recipe! I’ve never seen Alfredo sauce made exactly that way before, without heat. That would certainly prevent the fracturing problem, wouldn’t it? I love the addition of the nutmeg. Superb flavor addition! I really must try this. Thank you.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2016 at 7:32 AM - Reply

      Im sorry, i don’t know what’s fractured!

      • Kathryn Grace November 8, 2016 at 9:17 PM

        When making a cream sauce, such as Alfredo, it’s easy to overheat it just enough that the creamy surface breaks, is no longer silky smooth, and has a fractured, or slightly fissured, appearance. Sometimes the butterfat separates and oozes out and the cream curdles. For me, the test of a good Italian restaurant, in part, is its ability to serve up an unfractured, creamy Alfredo sauce.

      • chef mimi November 9, 2016 at 7:38 AM

        Yes, but the difference is that this isn’t a cream sauce. No cooking required!

      • Kathryn Grace November 10, 2016 at 9:14 AM

        Yes, that’s why I was interested in trying it!

  22. abbe odenwalder November 6, 2016 at 10:33 PM - Reply

    Beautiful dish! I love Alfredo, but I have to tell you that I was in a pinch and I bought Trader Joe’s pumpkin tomato sauce. It was really good. In fact maybe that will be dinner!

  23. dishdessert November 7, 2016 at 4:59 AM - Reply

    Looks so ymmy!

  24. spicedblog November 7, 2016 at 8:01 AM - Reply

    I love a good alfredo pasta, and the addition of pumpkin here sounds amazing! I’m thinking this could be dinner tonight. :-)

    • chef mimi November 9, 2016 at 6:29 AM - Reply

      Just the pumpkin shaped pasta, but when my kids were title I snuck pumpkin in absolutely everything!

  25. Karen November 7, 2016 at 9:35 AM - Reply

    Wish we had a Trader Joe’s by us…that pasta is perfect for fall. As long as I’m wishing, I’d like a little white truffle as well. :D

    • chef mimi November 9, 2016 at 6:28 AM - Reply

      Wish I had had one…! My daughter and I just enjoyed a truffle-heavy menu at NoMad in NYC. Wow!!!

  26. scarletclark November 8, 2016 at 8:26 AM - Reply

    Sounds delicious – and looks totally adorable! I hope you bought plenty as you’ll want to use those shapes again and again! x

  27. kitchenriffs November 9, 2016 at 9:39 AM - Reply

    I’m a sucker for any and all pasta shapes too! And do try them all. :-) This looks terrific — SO good. Thanks!

  28. Marisa's Italian Kitchen November 9, 2016 at 6:31 PM - Reply

    I too love unique pasta shapes!! This dish looks and sounds amazing Mimi😊 nice photos too!

  29. camparigirl November 12, 2016 at 11:41 AM - Reply

    They look adorable. I had never seen that shape before.

  30. Green Valley Kitchen November 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM - Reply

    This looks delicious, Mimi – I love the simple, comforting sauce – my favorite kind! I’ll have to look out for the fun pumpkin pasta at my local TJ.

    • chef mimi November 14, 2016 at 10:59 AM - Reply

      Thank you. I stand by this recipe, no matter the pasta!

  31. Masoom Jethwa January 2, 2017 at 7:55 AM - Reply

    Yummy. 😁😁😁😋😋😋Share a piece. 😚

  32. bloomwellnessblog February 5, 2017 at 4:47 PM - Reply

    So cute!!! And YUM! Trying this tonight – thx for the inspiration!

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