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.
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!

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

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.
Cook the pasta, test for bite, then drain in a colander.
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.
You can also add thinly-sliced white truffle, which is included in the original recipe.
I instead added a few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg.

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


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!

67 thoughts on “Pumpkin Pasta Alfredo

  1. 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.

  2. 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”!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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?

  5. 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 :)

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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

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

  11. 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.

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