Pumpkin Alfredo with Burrata
Pumpkin Alfredo with Burrata- A creamy pasta swirled with pumpkin, topped with crispy sage, and finished with torn burrata cheese.
November 2, 2021 by Nicole Collins
Today's recipe almost didn't happen.
And let me tell you, it would've been a crying shame if it didn't.
If you've been following along with me here for a while, you know that I don't like orange things. Actually, “don't like” is an understatement. I loathe all things orange.
I know that I can handle pumpkiny things as dessert, because the pumpkin is masked by sweet things like sugar and cinnamon. But, I've never had any interest or desire in trying pumpkin in a savory kind of way. In fact, any time I make something pumpkin flavored, I always taste the pumpkin straight from the can and scrunch my nose up in disgust.
So a couple weeks ago, I'm filming a reels for a pumpkin ice cream recipe I posted a couple years ago. I had almost half a can of pumpkin left and didn't want to waste it. And somehow, I got the BRAVE idea to add it into a pasta sauce. I was positive I was going to hate it and truly did a little checks and balances to determine if it was worse to waste a little pumpkin or to waste a whole pasta ensemble.
Ultimately, I put on my big girl pants, went for it, fell in love, and that's how today's recipe was born.
So today, we're making Pumpkin Alfredo with Burrata!
This pasta is the perfect seasonal meal that feels super fancy and elegant but really comes together as quickly as it takes to cook pasta. It's simple, flavorful, beautiful, and absolutely delicious!
First up, let's talk sauce. This is my go to basic recipe for any alfredo we've ever made around here. All of the usual suspects are there: garlic, cream, milk, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese. But there are 2 things that make this version of the alfredo sauce extra special: crispy sage and canned pumpkin.
Before we start building our sauce, we're going to fry up some fresh sage leaves in our skillet. All we need is some olive oil that we'll heat until it's shimmering and the sage. We'll put the leaves right into the hot oil, let them fry for about 30 seconds, and remove them to a paper towel lined plate to drain off any excess oil. That's it! The sage not only adds an unexpected layer of earthy flavor to the base of our sauce, it also gives us a crispy garnish to finish our dish.
After our sage has fried, we're going to reduce the heat and add our garlic right into the sage scented oil. We'll saute it for a couple of seconds; then in goes our milk, cream, cream cheese, parmesan, and pumpkin. We'll let the sauce lightly simmer for about 5 minutes until it's thickened, and the sauce is ready for some pasta.
Now here's a couple things to note about the pumpkin that we're using in our sauce. 1. Make sure to get canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has extra sugars and spices added in, and we are not making a dessert pasta here. 2. I do not like the taste of pumpkin on it's own at all. That's partly why I was terrified I was going to hate this sauce. But, the pumpkin doesn't overpower the sauce one little bit. It adds gorgeous color and the slightest hint of sweetness and earthiness. But if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know it was a pumpkin sauce. That's actually what I love so much about this sauce. You get the extra added benefits of the pumpkin without having to taste much of it! So if you're a pumpkin hater like me, don't let that deter you from making this pasta.
Next, let's talk pasta. I really like a short cut pasta for this dish, because the sauce is thick and creamy which is perfect for sticking to the ridges of short cuts of pastas. You can totally use a longer cut pasta if that's what you have, and it'll still be just as delish. You can also choose to add a splash of pasta water to the sauce which will thin it out just slightly while also stretching the sauce enough that you can get a whole extra portion out of the sauce!
After we've tossed the cooked pasta into our sauce, we'll divide it between our serving bowls. Then, we'll top it with that crispy sage that we fried up earlier. And for the grand finale, we're going to throw on some torn pieces of creamy burrata. If you thought alfredo couldn't get any better, add some burrata on top. I'm telling you, it's a game changer.
This pasta is so comforting and delicious. It's rich and creamy. It savory and earthy. Then, you get those pops of extra texture in your bite thanks to the crispy sage and the gooey burrata. This is the perfect fall meal.
Don't you love it when food surprises you? I never thought a day would come where I'd voluntarily add orange produce to a meal I was making. But, here we are. And, I'm so happy I took a chance on something new and different.
And, I hope you do too!
Alright, everyone. I can't wait to hear what you think of this pasta...(especially the pumpkin haters out there).
Please enjoy! And, let's eat!
Pumpkin Alfredo with Burrata
Serves: 3-4 Print
1 tbsp olive oil
8 sage leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk (I used 1%)
2 oz cream cheese (I used low fat)
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup freshly shredded parmesan, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper, to taste
6-8 oz short cut pasta (I used rotini)
1 burrata ball, torn
Cook pasta to al dente in salted water according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Add sage leaves, and pan fry for 20-30 seconds until the sage is crispy. Remove leaves from pan, and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil. Set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, and saute about 30 seconds- 1 minute until fragrant.
Add heavy cream, milk, cream cheese, pumpkin, parmesan cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Stir constantly until cheeses are melted and incorporated. Once simmering, reduce heat to low, and simmer sauce for 4-5 mins, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, toss to coat, and cook for about 1 minute more. Taste for seasoning, and add another pinch of salt and pepper, if needed.
To serve, garnish with torn burrata and crispy sage leaves. Enjoy!
*Since we're not using much oil in our pan, I like to slightly tilt the pan to pool the oil in one spot when I'm frying the sage. This helps to make sure the leaves fry evenly without having to use more oil than we need for our sauce.
*Any cut of pasta would really work here. I like this one with a short cut pasta, but a long cut would work great too. You could even serve this with a whole wheat pasta, if you like.
*The serving size depends on how saucy you like your pasta. This serves 3 people (6 oz of pasta) with nice and saucy pasta. If you reserve a ½ cup of pasta cooking water and add it to the pan along with your cooked pasta, you could easily stretch this sauce to serve 4 people (8 oz of pasta).
*Make sure you buy canned pumpkin (pumpkin puree) and not pumpkin pie filling. Pie filling has sugar and spices added, and we don't want that in our pasta!