Kabocha, Sage & Creme Fraiche Pappardelle

October  4, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by cynthia | two red bowls
  • Serves 3 to 4
Author Notes

Kabocha is my all time favorite squash for its creamy, naturally sweet flavor, and I thought it worked especially well here, to balance savory sage and the touch of tang from the crème fraîche for a rich, velvety autumnal sauce. Still, any squash puree will work, from good old Libby's to butternut, acorn squash, or delicata. The sauce works well with just about any pasta you have on hand, though I prefer it over a springy, eggy pappardelle. —Cynthia Chen McTernan

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound dried pasta (pappardelle, tagliatelle, spaghetti, and penne all work well)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 7 to 8 sage leaves (a small handful)
  • 2/3 cup kabocha (or other squash) puree
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • about 1/4 to 1/3 cups reserved pasta water, for thinning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts or almonds, for garnish (optional)
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Add the pasta and let cook according to package directions. (If using fresh pasta, you may want to wait until the sauce is done to cook the pasta, since it will take much less time.)
  2. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large saucepan or wok. Add the sage leaves and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until butter browns and sage leaves are crispy (about two minutes). Remove the sage leaves and set aside. Add the kabocha, crème fraîche, nutmeg and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to its lowest setting.
  3. Use a pasta claw or tong to remove the pasta and add it directly to the sauce, letting some of the starchy water come with it. Toss the pasta until well-coated in sauce.
  4. Add another ladle or two of the pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce. Garnish with the reserved sage leaves, and a handful of chopped walnuts or almonds, if desired. Serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
  • tictacso

2 Reviews

tictacso October 20, 2020
Excellent recipe! I used ground sage and crema Mexicana since that's all I had and it was SO delicious over ravioli. I already know I will be making this a lot this season and I'm already thinking of other ways to eat this more often (bread dip?) :)
Stephanie B. November 29, 2015
This is THE recipe for fresh pasta. I used homemade egg and semolina linguine with this and it was delicious. The sauce is elegantly simple; the perfect thing for fresh pasta. I sautéed a little onion after the sage, and toasted walnuts in the oven for topping the dish. I also topped it with a little grated parmesan. This sauce is sooooo good, kobacha squash is my favorite winter squash and the the combination of brown butter and creme fraiche in here is just great with the squash.