Pasta Dressed with Creamy Sage and Pumpkin Sauce

My good friend Amy makes this luscious cream sauce for pasta. Made with pumpkin, this is the perfect cold weather comfort food.

* 2 parts pumpkin (about 1 cup per person)
* 1 part light cream or half-and-half
* Fresh sage leaves
* Generous grating of parmesan or locatelli
* 1 pat butter
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 oz. pasta (fresh linguini or fettuccini from Talutos in the Italian Market is especially good)
* (optional) tablespoon or two of calvados, sherry or Grand

Cook the pumpkin however you like — boil, steam, bake — then whirl in a blender with the cream till smooth and unctuous.

Return to the pot and heat gently over a low burner. Chiffonade the sage leaves, add to the pot, and gently simmer till it begins to look thick and sauce-like. Add the grated cheese, which will thicken it a bit further.

Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta until al dente

Drain the pasta and combine with the pumpkin mixture. Cook for a few seconds to combine flavors, then melt in a pat of butter. Finishing with a tablespoon or two of calvados or sherry or Grand Marnier gives it an elegant taste if you like that sort of thing (I used calvados). Serve immediately with a fresh grating of pepper and a nice salad.

NOTE: I first made this with oriental pumpkin which you can buy by the slice at the Sunday Farmer’s Market at the 2nd Street Shambles, but a flavorful orange winter squash also works. Just be sure to blend until the texture becomes creamy and smooth.

- Barb McKenzie

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