This post was created in partnership with Barilla®. All opinions are our own.
People always ask us if we plan to open a restaurant. We’ve never seriously considered it just because we love cooking at home so much and don’t have any interest in working in a commercial kitchen. That said, we’ve discussed how inspiring it would be to develop an original menu for a restaurant filled with all our favorite creations… just as long as we didn’t have to work there on a daily basis, cooking and cleaning up after all those creations. Our conversations take place whenever we invent a new dish that is so good, we think it would be perfect for the Husbands’ bill of fare—and today’s recipe definitely makes the cut. Would you please give a warm welcome to the autumnal pasta of your dreams… Pumpkin Gemelli with Browned Butter and Sage.
This year we’re partnering with Barilla, and it’s been so fun sharing new pasta recipes throughout the seasons. In the spring, we celebrated the third annual World #CarbonaraDay with our tasty vegetarian version. Over the summer, we developed a recipe for Pasta d’Estate, a zesty penne made with heirloom tomatoes, sautéed garlic, zucchini, and cauliflower. And back in May, we re-created the emerald green Bucatini Pistachio Pesto, the winning dish from the U.S. qualifying round of the 2019 Barilla Pasta World Championship. Barilla has been a Master of Pasta for more than 140 years, and they created this culinary competition to celebrate the beloved ingredient. The contest is now in its 8th year, and the 2019 finals are being held this week in Paris, where 14 chefs from around the world will represent their countries and compete for the title of World Master of Pasta. This year’s theme is “The Art of Pasta,” where pasta will be promoted as food and also as a piece of art. Our Pumpkin Gemelli with Browned Butter and Sage is inspired by the theme, along with the seasonal ingredients that we love cooking with this time of year.
This dish is about to become your new fall fave! For this recipe, we use Barilla Gemelli because of its al dente texture and unique spiral shape which holds the sauce so perfectly. Made with sautéed garlic, browned butter, pumpkin purée, fresh sage, and a splash of milk, this creamy one-pan sauce is gently spiced with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne. Topped with crispy sage leaves and toasted pepitas, this gourmet dinner comes together in a snap. While the gemelli cooks, you can whip up the sauce and they’ll both be ready at the same time. It’s inspiring to see how pasta continues to reinvent itself—it can be prepared in infinite ways and it’s perfect for any occasion or time of year. When you make pasta you can let your creativity shine, and this week in Paris, the versatility and artistry of pasta will be on display for the world to see.
For more information about the Pasta World Championship, a full list of participating chefs, and event schedule, visit www.pastaworldchampionship.com and follow @BarillaUS on Instagram to get a peek of the action. Buon appetito!
Pumpkin Gemelli with Browned Butter and Sage
Serves 6 to 8
16 ounces (454 g) Barilla Gemelli Pasta
1/2 cup (113 g / one stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves (10 g), minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
1 15-ounce (425 g) can pumpkin purée (see note)
1 cup (237 ml) milk of your choice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cayenne pepper
crispy sage leaves, for garnish (see note)
toasted pepitas, for garnish (see note)
Fill a large pot with 3 to 4 quarts of water and add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart. Stir to dissolve, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly, cook until the butter melts and becomes foamy. Continue stirring until the foam subsides and the solids at the bottom of the pan begin to turn brown. Once they have turned a nutty dark brown color—but not black—immediately pour the butter into a small heatproof bowl to stop the cooking process. Use a silicone spatula to scrape all the browned butter solids from the pan into the bowl.
Return the saucepan to the stove, add the oil and garlic, and set the heat to medium. Once the garlic begins sizzling, cook for about 30 seconds, then add the minced sage leaves. Cook for another 30 seconds, then add the browned butter and stir to combine. Add the pumpkin purée, milk, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne, and stir until smooth and blended. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, then cover and set heat to low.
Once the pot of water is boiling, add the pasta and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 12 minutes. Reserve 1 to 2 cups (237 to 473 ml) of the water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot, then pour over the sauce and about 1/2 cup (118 ml) of the pasta water, tossing to coat the pasta evenly in sauce. If it seems too dry, add more pasta water a few tablespoons at a time until a creamy consistency is reached. Serve immediately while hot, topped with crispy sage leaves and toasted pepitas. Enjoy, e buon appetito!
— Be sure to use canned pumpkin purée, not canned pumpkin pie filling, which contains sugar and spices.
— To make crispy sage leaves, pour enough olive oil in a small skillet to cover the bottom in a thin layer. Heat over medium-high until the oil is hot and shimmers. While the pan is heating, wash and thoroughly dry the sage leaves, patting them dry to prevent spattering during cooking. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the dry sage leaves in a single layer, and cook until crispy, 15 to 30 seconds. Remove them using tongs, and transfer to a small plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. The leaves can be used immediately or cooled completely and stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
— To toast pepitas, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir until toasted, fragrant, and beginning to turn golden brown. Use immediately, or cool completely and store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a week.
Alexandra StaffordOctober 7, 2019 at 2:50 pm
This looks so good Ryan and Adam! Have been thinking of you because I made your florentine cookies from your cookbook and they were SO good … kids helped me and gobbled them up. We made them without chocolate because my kids don’t like chocolate … weirdos. Anyway, just wanted to say hi. BEAUTIFUL post!!
husbandsthatcookOctober 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm
omg this makes us so happy to hear! We looove that florentine recipe and are thrilled that your family enjoyed it too! (even without the chocolate, haha, no judgment here!) We both have the biggest smiles on our faces right now—thanks for making our day!
lynnOctober 22, 2019 at 1:59 pm
Thank you for a recipe that uses the whole can of pumpkin! Most of the pasta sauce recipes say “1 cup” and I’m like STOP MAKING ME GOOGLE MORE RECIPES
husbandsthatcookOctober 28, 2019 at 11:12 am
Haha we feel your pain! What are you supposed to do with 1/2 a cup of leftover pumpkin?! 😉 Enjoy, and have fun cooking!!
NoemiFebruary 3, 2020 at 4:17 am
Oh, my whole family loves pasta! We have pasta often, at least twice a week. We love pumpkin too, so I am sure if I’ll prepare this recipe, my family will love it! Thank you so much 🙂
husbandsthatcookFebruary 3, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Thanks so much for the kind words, Noemi! We loooove pasta too, and we hope your family enjoys this one as much as we do! Happy cooking! xoxo