Take your pasta to a new level with bacon and a buttery pumpkin sauce. Enjoy this fall meal in as little as 30 minutes for a quick and easy dinner any night of the week.
Over the past few years, I have been trying to step up my pasta game. I have lived my whole Italian life enjoying tomato sauce with my pasta—which there is absolutely nothing wrong with. But still, a whole other world of combinations of flavors and tastes exists out there and I’m ready for it.
Today’s dish takes ordinary pasta to a new level.
It is a perfect meal to make on a fall evening. It has a creamy browned butter and pumpkin flavor that ties into the season so well.
For another fantastic seasonal pasta dish, give my Alfredo Cauliflower Gnocchi with Butternut Squash a try.
What is Brown Butter?
Part of what makes the pumpkin sauce in this dish so good is the browned butter. But, is it really necessary to take the extra steps to brown the butter?
According to bonappetite.com, “Browning butter is fast, easy, and will transform butter’s flavor into something nutty, complex, and noticeable. When butter is browned it becomes more than a background ingredient. It earns a starring role.”
Chefs often refer to brown butter as liquid gold. The butter heats until it caramelizes, which gives it a gorgeous golden-brown color and an unmistakable rich nutty flavor.
The key to success when making brown butter is to watch it carefully. It can go from a nutty brown deliciousness to burnt in a flash. I don’t recommend walking away while it’s being prepared so you can keep an eye on the color transformation.
Which Pasta to Use?
The pasta you choose to serve with this pumpkin butter sauce and bacon dish is a matter of your own personal preference.
Longer kinds of pasta, such as linguine, fettuccine, and spaghetti, work very well with sauces based on tomato, oil, and cream—like this one. Today, I am using linguine.
Try to stick to the shorter tube kinds of pasta when you have a thicker or cheesy sauce because it will lap up the sauce inside the tube.
Prepare your pasta according to the directions on the package and drain it through a colander.
While my linguine is cooking, I start to prepare the bacon.
Place your bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry it until it becomes crispy. Then, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate. Let it sit for a minute or two and then cut it into pieces.
With a paper towel, wipe down the skillet you just cooked the bacon in. It doesn’t have to be clean, you just need to remove the access grease. Place that skillet back over medium heat.
Melt your pats of butter, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the butter browns and is starting to foam. This usually takes about 5 minutes, but be sure to watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn.
Now, add in your garlic and shallots to the brown butter, cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until the shallots and garlic become fragrant.
Stir in your pumpkin puree and the heavy cream. Stir it together well and continue to cook the sauce for about 5 minutes. You want it to be thoroughly heated through.
Add your cooked pasta to the sauce skillet and toss until it is well coated. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
Place on serving plates and top with your bacon, chopped sage, and parmesan shavings.
Did you give this flavorful pumpkin pasta a try? Let me know in the comments below or snap a photo and tag @coolbeanliving on Instagram. I’d love to see it!
Pasta with Bacon and Pumpkin Butter
- 12 oz linguine
- 4 slices bacon
- 6 tbsp butter, cut into 6 even pieces
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 shallots diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 oz parmesan cheese shaved
- 4 leaves fresh sage crumbled
- salt & pepper to taste
- Prepare pasta according to package; drain.
- While pasta cooks, fry bacon over medium heat in large skillet until crispy. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Break into pieces.
- Wipe the skillet with paper towel. Add butter and gently cook over medium heat until the butter begins to melt. Once melted, reduce to medium-low heat and continue to cook until brown and starting to foam, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and watch that butter doesn't burn.
- Add garlic and shallots to butter, cooking for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in pumpkin puree and heavy cream; continue cooking until thoroughly heated, about 5 minutes.
- Add pasta to the pumpkin butter sauce and toss to coat. Season with salt & pepper, as desired.
- Transfer pasta to serving plates and top with bacon, sage, and parmesan shavings.