Pumpkin Pasta


1/2 cup pepitas
2 pounds (about 2 wedges) or 1/2 cheese pumpkin, peeled and seeded (cheese pumpkins have light tan skin and orange flesh)
Cooking spray or a drizzle of oil, for coating pumpkin
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion, grated or finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
Black pepper
A few grates (1/8 teaspoon) fresh nutmeg
About 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 sprigs rosemary, stemmed and finely chopped
1 pound bucatini or pappardelle
4 tablespoons butter
16 leaves sage
A handful Tuscan kale, leaves stripped and very thinly sliced
Grated Pecorino cheese (tangy, salty) or Parmigiano-Reggiano (nutty), to serve


2. Directions

  1. Toast the pepitas on a small sheet tray in a 350°F oven for 6-7 minutes or toast in a small skillet over moderate heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Peel pumpkin and spray with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil; season with salt. Roast to just tender but not brown, about 25 minutes; cool.
  4. Shred pumpkin with the large side of a box grater or shred it with tines of 2 forks.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and sauté 5 minutes. Add stock and rosemary, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir in grated pumpkin and simmer 15 minutes.
  7. Salt boiling pasta water and drop pasta, cook to 1 minute less than suggested on package for al dente, reserving 1 cup water before draining. Add starchy water to pumpkin sauce.
  8. Toss drained pasta with pumpkin sauce and a few handfuls of grated cheese. Garnish with pepitas and crispy sage leaves.