Fall is the best season. The cool crisp weather creates a desire for comfort food and often the flavor of pumpkin. The base of the sauce is roasted pumpkin, white wine, garlic and onions. There is sour cream for a little tang. Cold butter finishes the sauce. It melts slowly and creates an extra level of creaminess. Fried sage gives it a subtle crunch and a punch of flavor.
1 small sugar pumpkin (or 2 cups canned pumpkin purée)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb mafalde pasta or fettuccine
1/4 cup sage leaves, plus 1 tbsp minced sage
Flaky sea salt
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into slices and chilled
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Prepare a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Remove the pumpkin top and stem. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise and continue to cut into wedges, about 2-inches wide. Place wedges on parchment and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 35 to 60 minutes, depending on size of your pumpkin. Flesh should be tender.
Using a spoon, scoop pumpkin flesh into a blender; discard skin. Reserve 2 cups pumpkin purée and save remaining for soup or other pumpkin recipes.
Bring an 8 quart stock pot of water to a boil and generously season with salt. Cook pasta according to al dente package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-high heat add 4 to 5 tbsp olive oil; when oil is hot but not smoking add 1/4 cup dry sage leaves and fry 4 to 5 seconds until crispy. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with sea salt; set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat sauté onions, garlic and minced sage, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups pumpkin and white wine; season with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in parmesan and butter until melted and creamy. Add sour cream and pasta, toss until well coated. Add small amounts of pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
Top pasta with flaky sea salt, ground black pepper and fried sage leaves. Serve immediately.