I have decided to try something exciting and new! Venturing from my deep roots in butter and sugar, I wanted to try a hand or two at savory dishes. I would like to introduce you to a new series aptly named "Savory Sundays" to share my love (and recipes) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Each Sunday I will try to present you with a tried-and-true or original recipe to add some flavor to spice up this lazy day.
I like to cook almost as much as I like to bake. If baking didn't have the sugar-laden advantage, cooking might have stood a fair chance. I prefer to cook primarily with whole foods, meaning I try to stick with fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains as much as possible. I rarely buy processed foods, so you are unlikely to find many cans or boxes in my home (or in any of these recipes).
What I cook is largely dictated by my stomach. Lately, my stomach has been craving the comforting flavors of fall. I have already churned out a few squash desserts (like this pumpkin bread pudding and butternut squash custard), but my squash cravings have yet to be sated. And so I decided it was time to bring those squash flavors to the dinner table.
This pumpkin alfredo is an autumnal twist on a traditional alfredo sauce. The puree adds a subtle hint of pumpkin to the alfredo sauce--faint enough to be noticeable, but not enough to remotely feel as if you are eating a pumpkin pie. Pumpkin and cream are an excellent match (as you well know) and cream-based sauces are no exception. If you are feeling a bit unsure about this combination, just remember that you are adding a secret serving of vegetables to your favorite pasta. And everyone likes secret vegetables.
Yields 4 large servings
1 pound fettuccine pasta (I used spinach noodles)
4 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 cup pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin)
Pumpkin seeds (for garnish), optional
Salt and pepper, optional
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper, and mushrooms and sauté until the onions and mushrooms have softened.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the cream, stirring to combine. Allow the cream to simmer for a few minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Now add the cheese and stir until the cheese has completely melted and incorporated itself into the sauce.
Stir in the pumpkin puree and continue cooking for a few more minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add more cream (or milk) to thin it out to the desired consistency.
To serve, spoon the sauce on top of the cooked pasta and garnish with pumpkin seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste. And now, enjoy!