I will be the first one to admit, crème fraiche is an underused ingredient on this blog. However, we are about to change that, because since I came back from the Vermont Cheese Camp I have been testing a lot of recipes using this rich custardy cream. And this pumpkin crème fraiche pasta with sage and shallots is the first of the many recipes to come. If you are like me, new to using crème fraiche in your cooking, this is a great recipe to start as it is made with only a few ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes.
What is creme fraiche and how is it different from sour cream?
So you may ask, what is crème fraiche and how is it made? With a texture similar to sour crème, crème fraiche is a custardy and velvety cream made from cow’s milk by separating the cream from the milk and fermenting it with a culture (lactic bacteria). Even though its consistency resembles sour crème, it has a higher fat content and a less tangy taste. As the name suggests, it is originated from France and used frequently in French cooking. Though nowadays a lot of supermarkets in the US maintain a good supply of crème fraiche in their dairy section.
A lot of people use crème fraiche as a condiment and serve with desserts. I find it especially refreshing when served alongside a summer tart or a dollop of it added onto a bowl of fresh fruit. In addition, because of its high fat content, unlike sour cream, it is not prone to curdling and can handle high heat. That is why it is widely used in cooking as well. This is the reason why it is more expensive than sour cream.
About this Pumpkin Creme Fraiche Pasta with Sage Recipe
Now let’s talk about this pumpkin crème fraiche pasta with sage and shallots recipe. For one thing, every single ingredient in this recipe has its own unique flavor. However, what makes this dish so incredible is that they pair so well with each other. If you were a fan of winter squash and use it often in your fall recipes, you would already know that fresh sage and winter squash are made for each other. Honestly, I rarely use sage in my cooking because I think, if not used properly, its flavors may take over the whole dish. However, if you cook it with other flavoring agents like shallots and garlic, it looses its strong flavor while landing a more balanced and earthy taste that compliments the overall dish.
Once the pumpkin puree and crème fraiche is added to the sautéed shallot and sage mixture and cooked, you end up with a creamy pasta sauce that takes your autumn pasta game to the next level. The best part: It all comes together in less than 30 minutes.
In terms of pasta, I used brown rice spaghetti, but you could use any pasta of your choice. As in all pasta dishes, I recommend reserving a cup of the cooking liquid, as you may need it later on if the pasta dries or the sauce needs a little bit more liquid. This dish is best when consumed on the day of cooking. It serves four people, but you can easily half or double the recipe based on the number of people you are serving.
Finally, this pumpkin recipe is a part the #virtualpumpkinparty that is put together by food blogger friends Sara and Aimee every year around this time. Over a hundred of us got together and shared a pumpkin recipe on our blogs. In other words, we have got you covered for all your pumpkin recipe needs.
If you want to see the whole list, please check out Sara’s post. Below is a list of some of my favorite food blogger friends’ #virtualpumpkinparty creations:
Cake Over Steak • Quick Pumpkin and Kale Risotto + Arancini
A Couple Cooks • Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal
Wallflower Kitchen • Mini Pumpkin & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Give Recipe • Orange Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
Beard and Bonnet • Marbled Pumpkin Muffins
Snixy Kitchen • Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Well and Full • Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus
Mademoiselle Poirot • Cinnamon-Pumpkin Mousse on Honey Panna Cotta topped with Hazelnut Brittle
Fix Feast Flair • Hokkaido Pumpkin + Sage Mac and Gouda
Displaced Housewife • Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts
Salted Plains • Easy Pumpkin Bread
The Bojon Gourmet • Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding
Oh Honey Bakes • Pumpkin Cake with Gingersnap Toffee
A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Shrubs
Betty Liu • Pumpkin + Pear Butter Baked Melty Cheese
The Jam Lab • Pumpkin Madeleines Dipped in White Chocolate
My Name is Yeh • Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt and Hazelnut Dukkah
Flourishing Foodie • Massaman Curry with Pumpkin and Chickpeas
Pumpkin Creme Fraiche Pasta with Sage
- 1 pound gluten-free brown rice spaghetti or any other pasta of your choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot* or 2 small, peeled and chopped
- 6-8 leaves of fresh sage rinsed and julienned (sliced thinly), plus a few leaves as garnish
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 ½ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
- ½ cup crème fraiche
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan Reggiano grated
- Cook your pasta according to the directions on its package. When cooked, reserve a cup of its liquid, drain, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pan in medium heat. Add in the shallots and cook until translucent.
- Stir in the fresh sage leaves and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly for 45 seconds to a minute.
- Stir in the pumpkin, crème fraiche, salt and pepper. Give it a stir to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Cook, stirring frequently, until warm. This happens pretty quick so keep a close eye on it.
- Add in the pasta into the sauce. Stir to make sure all the pasta is coated with the sauce. If you think it needs a little more liquid, add some of the reserved pasta liquid.
- Taste for seasoning and add if necessary.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle it with Parmesan Reggiano and garnish it with fresh sage leaves.
Recipe adapted from this Edible Feast recipe.