Truffled Pumpkin Pappardelle Alfredo with Frizzled Sage

{Corrected post! Apologies for the re-send guys, WordPress sent out my scheduled post prematurely, before I had all of my editing done … all of my I’s dotted, T’s crossed, etc.}


Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016   12:35 a.m.

The house is eerily/weirdly/abnormally quiet right now. I suppose the fact that it’s just after midnight and everyone is fast asleep in their beds would suggest that the house is quiet – that it should be quiet. But normally it isn’t. Usually on any given night around this time, at least the ones during which I happen to be awake for whatever reason, the house is still awake too, making its last sounds and heaving its last sighs of the day before settling in to the night. The last clunks of the clothes tumble in the dryer downstairs, the dishwasher setting switches from “wash” to “dry” and begins its low, lulling hum. The clock in the bathroom ticks ticks ticks away while the two cats, nocturnal beings that they are, play-fight in the living room until one cries uncle, waves the white flag, or whatever it is that cats do to signal that they’ve had enough … the day is done … it’s time for bed. 

But I can’t hear any of this right now, these normal midnight sounds, as I stand in the kitchen. Save for the clicking of this keyboard, it is dead quiet. No wind in the leaves outside, no clothes in the dryer, no fighting cats. Just quiet.  

I am the one who is guilty of disturbing the peace tonight in my house; for breaking the oddly but beautifully serene and silent state in which I found it only moments ago. I stole away to the kitchen tonight for a glass of water and to check on this blog post, like the neurotic person that I am, and I wanted to make sure that it was all systems go for posting … and then I remembered that I had yet to actually WRITE the post. I was so wrapped up in (and excited about) the recipe and cooking and aesthetic aspects of the post, that I nearly forgot to actually tell you what it is all about. Which would have been a shame, really, because my recipe is a part of something pretty special and definitely a lot of fun … particularly if you have an affection for the humble pumpkin.

I created this recipe as a part of the 2016 Virtual Pumpkin Party, which is a fun online celebration of sorts where over 100 food bloggers get together (via our blogs) and share a favorite pumpkin recipe. Our posts are all live as of 1:00 a.m. on Monday. Oct. 24 and you can bet your bottom dollar that there is a whole lot of delicious taking over the internet right now. For the full list of bloggers and their unique pumpkin-filled recipes, you can check out my friends Sara and Aimee’s blogs starting on Monday. Sara writes and illustrates  Cake Over Steak, and Aimee is the creative mind behind Twigg Studios.

And as for my pumpkin recipe? It is beyond – a favorite for sure. Oh how I love it so …

Comforting. Hearty. Deeply flavorful. Soul-satisfying. Just different enough.

This pasta dish checks many of the boxes that are requisite of Fall recipes, and I’m excited to be sharing it with you today. I’ve long been a fan of the overly dramatic, XXL pappardelle noodle and figured it was high-time for it to make an appearance on my blog. Like the wide-brimmed hat of the noodle world, pappardelle are a comfy, easy-going bed for whatever concoction with which you choose to top them. In this case, it is a deceptively simple alfredo sauce that gets not only the flavor and color boosts from pumpkin, but also the health benefits. Let’s be honest – you can’t say that about every alfredo sauce. I make my sauce here with a decadent truffle butter, which you can find in most grocery stores these days, but rather than using heavy cream I opt for half and half. I find that the results are creamy and just right and with the addition of the pumpkin, you just don’t need heavy cream. I like to pile the pasta on a big platter and serve it family-style, topped with salty toasted pumpkin seeds, a shower of extra parmesan, the insanely delicious fried sage, and – because I am a fan of gilding lilies – a drizzle of truffle oil.

The aftermath of this photoshoot is still sort of scattered around the kitchen, as I sit here writing this. Fragrant bits of sage, a few errant pumpkin seeds, the lingering aroma of sautéing garlic and shallot: evidence of a meal that was happily prepared and thoroughly enjoyed. Every single strand of that silky, creamy, autumnally-inspired pan of pasta was devoured eagerly by my happy crew and I don’t even think we were all sitting down when we ate it. Those are the most fun photo shoots; when everyone gets excited about what I’ve made and waits eagerly in the wings for me to finish snapping my photos so we can all dive right in, heads and forks first. That was what today looked like, and after I snapped my last satisfactory shot for this post, Elle, Easton and I all enjoyed more than our fair shares of this luscious, dreamy pasta. A new favorite in our house, and I won’t tell you how many times I’ve made it in the past week. No, you might think me odd.



Truffled Pumpkin Pappardelle Alfredo with Frizzled Sage RECIPE




1 lb. pappardelle pasta

4 oz. white truffle butter

4 cloves garlic, minced (unless thy are huge, then 3 should do)

1 shallot, chopped

2 cups half and half

8 oz. pumpkin puree (fresh or canned, just not sweetened)

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 – 7 sage leaves

Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish (optional)

Truffle oil, to finish (optional)



Add the truffle butter to a large, deep skillet or pan over medium heat. When it has fully melted, add the garlic and shallots. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook gently for three – four minutes, or until the garlic/shallots are softened; stirring frequently. If you need to add a little more butter to get things cooking and to keep things from sticking, go for it. Add the half and half to the pan. Stir. Whisk/stir in the pumpkin and the nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a simmer, turning the heat up to about med-high now. This will help your sauce thicken nicely. Simmer the sauce, stirring frequently, for four – five minutes or until it has thickened a bit. Add the cheese, stir to combine, and taste for seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I typically add about 1.5 tsp. of salt if not more – it needs to be seasoned fairly aggressively). Keep warm.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a small frying pan set over med-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sage leaves (in batches if necessary) and fry quickly, about a minute total. You can flip them halfway through the cooking if you like, but I don’t usually find it necessary. Transfer the frizzled sage leaves to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve the remaining oil in the pan to drizzle over the pasta, if desired.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Transfer the pasta directly from its cooking water into the sauce. Toss and plate. Top with some of the frizzled sage leaves, some toasted pepitas and extra grated cheese. Drizzle some a little truffle oil over the pasta, if desired. Alternatively, you can drizzle some of the oil in which you fried the sage leaves – it is infused with that flavor now and makes a great finishing oil. Enjoy!


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