Rigatoni with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Okay, NOW I remember why I don’t love alfredo sauce. It’s too rich! It used to be (20 years ago) that that’s the only sauce I really liked. When Toby and I went to Italy, we went from restaurant to restaurant, looking at their menus posted outside, searching for alfredo sauce for me. I don’t know if it was that study that came out years ago that called Fettuccine Alfredo “a heart attack on a plate” or what, but I just can’t eat it now. In any case, this pasta was easy to make, and it did taste slightly of pumpkin.

rating: 5

Rigatoni with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
(Inspired by Food Network Magazine)

Time needed: 20 min.
serves 4

Ingredients:

18 ounces cheese rigatoni
salt
1 tbsp butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
pinch or two of nutmeg
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley, for topping

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.
2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in the cream and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium low; simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and cook until thick, about 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed. Divide among bowls and top with more cheese and parsley.

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