Fall Fest: Easy Pumpkin Cream Sauce
Keep your carving pumpkins for Halloween while you turn sugar pumpkins, a petite and sweet variety, into a creamy pasta sauce. They're easy to slice open and roast (save the seeds for snacking) and can be used to blend into sauces, sliced up and served with other roasted vegetables or turned into homemade pumpkin puree. The puree of 1 small sugar pumpkin should work out to equal one 15-ounce can.
Slice the pumpkins in half, scoop out the stringy bits and the seeds, then slice the pumpkin into halves or quarters.
Bake the pumpkin slices on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh is tender.
Once it's done the flesh can be easily scooped out or the skin peeled right off.
Puree the flesh in a food processor to make your pumpkin puree base. At this point the puree can be stored in the fridge for up to one week or kept in the freezer for up to three months. Or, make the puree into a cream sauce for pasta tonight: Melt a half stick of butter in a saucepan and cook two minced garlic cloves, one finely chopped shallot and chopped fresh sage for about eight minutes. Add the pureed pumpkin, 1/2 cup cream and 1 cup reserved pasta water to the mixture, then puree with a hand-held blender until smooth.
Add additional pasta water and cream until you've reached your desired sauce consistency. Salt and pepper as needed, and combine with ravioli, gnocchi or fettuccine.
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