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Pasta Alfredo with Acorn Squash and Fresh Peas

December 19, 2018

 

For all its cream and Parmesan, this alfredo tastes surprisingly light, refreshingly light even, in the midst of all the heavy holiday food — its fresh peas, leeks, and dill are like a little bit of spring in winter. It’s the perfect sauce for our fresh pappardelle because it’s thick enough to coat the wide noodles, yet light enough to let their rich, eggy flavor shine through.

Making the pappardelle will add some time to the recipe, but it’s worth it for their super springy, tender, and delicate texture. Never made fresh pasta before? No problem! We've got a how-to for you, and it could be a fantastic date night adventure or a fun Sunday afternoon.

Our tip: The trick to a smooth, creamy alfredo sauce is to dip out a half cup or so of the pasta’s starchy cooking water before you drain it and use a bit of it to help your sauce emulsify, giving it extra body and a silkier mouthfeel.

 

Servings: 4

 

Ingredients

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup leeks halved and sliced thin
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup acorn squash, diced
½ cup fresh peas
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup parmesan cheese plus a bit more for garnish
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
12 oz fresh pappardelle

 

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and season it liberally with salt. It should taste like sea water.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter, toss in the leeks, and sauté until they are fragrant and tender.
  3. Add the garlic and squash, and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the peas and wine, sauté for another 2 minutes, or until all the veggies are tender.
  5. Add the heavy cream, bring the sauce to a simmer, and slowly whisk in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside while the pasta cooks.
  6. Drop your pappardelle noodles in the boiling water, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly!
  7. Drain the pasta into a colander, reserving some of the water for your sauce. Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and toss with about a tablespoon of olive oil to keep them from sticking.
  8. If your alfredo sauce is too thick, whisk a little of the pasta’s cooking water into it. Then add the alfredo sauce and veggies to the serving bowl. Garnish with Parmesan and serve immediately.

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