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!