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Cheese Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

The weather has cooled down a little here in Philadelphia. We've had several days in a row of mid- to high-70-degree temperatures. I love it!

I thought the best way to welcome the cooler temperatures was with a savory pumpkin dish. Now, The Mister isn't as pumpkin-crazy as I am, so I chose this dish in particular because of the reviews describing the pumpkin flavor as subtle.

On a funny side note (or a sad one, depending on your point of view), my parents never made sauces (or much else) from scratch when I was growing up. I thought that things like tomato sauce and alfredo sauce were hard, or took a long time to make — why else would they come in a jar? 

How wrong I was! This recipe is so easy to make, perfect for busy weeknights. It was ready in 20 minutes. The only prep work needed is mincing the shallot. I used two packages of fresh 3-cheese tortellini from the deli section of the grocery store (near the specialty cheeses, hummus, and antipasto).  If you've never used fresh pasta before, it must be refrigerated until it's used. It also cooks faster than dried. 

The reviews were correct, the pumpkin flavor is subtle. But the sauce is thick and clings to the tortellini. If you'd like to cut down on the fat, you can use half-and-half instead of heavy cream but the sauce will be a little thinner. 

Cheese Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
Source: Food Network

Ingredients

  • 2 (9-ounce) packages of fresh cheese tortellini
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • ½ cup (4 ¾ ounces) pumpkin puree
  • Pinch of nutmeg (ground or fresh)
  • 1 ¼ cups of heavy cream
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of generously-salted water to boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to package directions. Reserve one cup of cooking water before draining. Set aside. 
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and saute, stirring often, until the shallot begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and the nutmeg, and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. 
  3. Stir in the cream, and bring the mixture to a slow (not rolling) boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the cheese, and cook until the cheese melts and thickens the sauce, about another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Add the tortellini to the skillet, and toss with the pumpkin alfredo sauce, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen the tortellini if they stick together. 
  6. Divide among 4 plates and grate some Parmesan cheese over top. 

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From one redhead to another... I love anything pumpkin and these look AMAZING! Hugs, Holly

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