Pasta is tossed in a rich, savory pumpkin sauce and sprinkled with crispy bacon and toasted hazelnuts for the perfect autumnal pasta dish in only 20 minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin bread as much as the next gal, but where I really get my pumpkin on is in savory dishes.
I also love wide long pasta like fettuccine, tagliatelle and pappardelle as I wax oh so poetically about in this post Creamy Fettuccine with Vegetable Ribbons so when I saw a package of pappardelle with a recipe for a chicken ragù with pumpkin I was SOLD.
Then I read the recipe. My favorite ingredient was 1 glass dry white wine. Now would that be a Weight Watchers size glass or a Big Carl size glass? In the instructions it directs you to sauté the garlic and then discard it. Well that seems like you’re throwing flavor away. Then you add a small bunch of thyme but you don’t remove it. I’m supposed to eat around the twigs?
In general it really wasn’t a recipe that you could follow with any success plus I knew I could really amp up the flavor with my favorite pumpkin trick.
To concentrate the flavor of pumpkin, gently cook it in a small sauce pan for 10 minutes. You will cook off over a half a cup of water, leaving a more intensely flavored pumpkin. This is great to use in all savory dishes. You need to be careful if you want to try this with your baking recipes though because they are very dependent on their ingredient ratios and by removing moisture you are affecting the balance. That is only recommended for the advanced baker or the shoot from the hip personality types.
Crispy bacon and toasty hazelnuts are perfect compliments to this delicious fall pasta sauce.
Here’s a little hazelnut trivia for you:
- Hazelnuts are also called cobnut or filberts although these are actually specific species within the genus Corylus; the hazel tree.
- Turkey produces 75% of the commercially grown hazelnuts.
- Oregon produces 99% of the US crop, which only amounts to 5% of the world production.
When you make this, comment below and let me know what you think about savory pumpkin. It might be a game changer for you this autumn.
Here’s a great way to keep cooked chicken on hand for recipes like this Magic Chicken.
Need even faster pasta dish? Try Creamy Fettuccine with Ribbon Vegetables.
- 1 15 ounce can 100% pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 cup diced onion (I love using prepped so easy you'll cry tears of joy.)
- 1 garlic clove minced, about one teaspoon
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, or ¼ teaspoon dried
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup chicken stock or broth
- 8 ounces pappardelle or pasta of choice
- ¼ cup toasted, chopped filberts (hazelnuts)
- Optional: 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- Optional: ½ cup cream
- In small sauce pan, cook pumpkin over medium low heat until reduced to a generous cup (about 1 ¼ cups) about 10 minutes.
- While pumpkin reduces, cook bacon in a large saucepan until crispy, then remove bacon leaving fat in pan. When cool crumble or chop up bacon.
- Add olive oil if necessary to have about 1 tablespoon fat in pot.
- Sauté onions over medium low heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and thyme, sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add wine; scrape any brown bits from bottom of pot, increase heat to medium high and cook until wine has evaporated.
- Add broth, bring to a boil, turn off heat and stir in reduced pumpkin.
- Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Toss pasta with sauce using pasta water to loosen if needed.
- Serve topped with chopped bacon and hazelnuts.