Pasta Alfredo with Acorn Squash & Fresh Peas
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 and leeks are like a little bit of spring in winter.
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.
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
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and season it liberally with salt. It should taste like sea water.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter, toss in the leeks, and sauté until they are fragrant and tender.
- Add the garlic and squash, and sauté for about 2 minutes.
- Add the peas and wine, sauté for another 2 minutes, or until all the veggies are tender.
- 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.
- Drop your pappardelle noodles in the boiling water, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Fresh pasta cooks very quickly!
- 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.
- 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.