As much as I love experimenting with new recipes and innovative flavors, there’s something about the winter months that just calls for the comforting foods and familiar flavors that I associate with the holidays. Think about how you feel when you come in from the cold and are handed a steaming mug of spicy cider, or bite into that first loaf of pumpkin bread that signals fall’s arrival.When I’m hosting a dinner party during the holiday season, I like to treat my guests to those same heartwarming flavors, and there’s almost nothing more comforting than a bowl of fresh pasta with sage and melty cheese like the shredded Président Manchego I used here.I decided to put a new twist on the classic fall flavor of pumpkin by peeling it, then roasting chunks with honey and tossing into the pasta (like butternut squash, but better!) With a nutty brown butter sauce that takes less than 5 minutes to make, this is one dish you’ll want to break out for every dinner party this season.The perfect way to kickoff this cozy autumn meal? With my Broiled Fig & Roquefort Tartines! Hop over to the Art of Cheese site for the delicious recipe that’s my current go-to dinner party appetizer.If you’d like to enter to win $50 worth of your own Président cheese, visit ArtOfCheese.com, where you can download a coupon and enter their Pinterest sweepstakes, plus find more delicious recipes and product info.
Lactalis compensated me for this post and provided me with complimentary Président cheese products, but all claims and opinions are my own. Thanks for being supportive of our sponsors!
- 1/2 sugar pumpkin
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 small bunch fresh sage, stems removed
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted Président butter
- 1 lb fresh short pasta, like cavatelli or penne
- 1 cup grated Président Manchego cheese
- coarse sea salt, like Maldon
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, remove the tough outer peel of the pumpkin. (I find it easiest to peel in wide horizontal strips.) Cut the pumpkin into 1-inch cubes, then toss in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the honey and kosher salt.
- Spread the pumpkin out in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet, then roast for 30 - 40 minutes, tossing once, until pumpkin is cooked through and begins to turn golden-brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Test the oil by adding a drop of water to the pan; if it sizzles, it's ready. Drop half of the sage leaves into the oil and let them fry for 15 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the leaves from the oil, then let drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the remainder of the sage leaves.
- Pour the oil from the pan, then return to the stove. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the pine nuts and let them start to toast for about 2 minutes. Add the butter and let it melt, then allow it to cook until it starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and season with a pinch of salt.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.
- Drain the pasta, then transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss well with pumpkin, brown butter sauce and half of the grated Manchego. Just before serving, top with the remainder of the Manchego and a liberal sprinkle of sea salt.