One of my favorite things about fall is cooking with pumpkin. Pumpkin is one of those ingredients that really lends itself well to both sweet dishes and savory dishes.
In addition, pumpkin has a lot of healthy qualities. It's high in fiber and vitamin A, and it has some antioxidants. You can sneak pumpkin into several dishes, like macaroni and cheese, or this tortellini with pumpkin Alfredo sauce from Food Network Magazine, and get your family to eat a little healthier.
This Alfredo sauce is one of my favorites. The dish is easy to make, and the sauce is incredible. For those who might not like pumpkin, I recommend trying this anyway - the pumpkin is very light and you can hardly taste it. The freshly grated nutmeg also adds a nice warmth to the flavor. If you don't have tortellini on hand, you could make this with fettuccine.
To make this dish you'll need:
- Kosher salt
- 2 9-oz packages cheese tortellini
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1/2 c. canned pure pumpkin (make sure it's pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie)
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- Freshly ground pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley, for topping (optional)
To start, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.
While the tortellini cooks, 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, for 1 minute. Next, stir in the cream and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes). Stir in the cheese and cook until thick, approximately 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tortellini to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding some of the reserved cooking water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Serve in bowls and top with more cheese and parsley if you like. Enjoy!