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.
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.
Julia Stearns @ Healthirony
Legit speechless, that pumpkin creme fraiche pasta with sage recipe looks unreal! Definitely I will make it on the weekend for my family.
So happy to hear that you liked it Julie. Thanks for stopping by.
Kara Mathys @Wellnessgrit
Wow. This pumpkin creme fraiche pasta look is a pure combination of taste, I love healthy food.
Thank you Kara.. This is a great recipe to make during the cool autumn days when various pumpkin varieties are coming out. 🙂
This pumpkin creme fraiche pasta with sage absolutely something new for me! Looks yummy! Thx, Aysegul for sharing recipe, I definitely add it to my cookbook!
Jill Roberts @ WellnessGeeky
Wow! This pumpkin creme fraiche pasta with sage recipe is incredible! I’m vegetarian. I prefer pumpkin – it may reduce cancer risk, protect the skin, boost your mood and other! Thx for sharing Aysegul!
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
Creme fraiche!! Woohoo! I love this idea. Pumpkin is so great with pasta, and the shallot and sage addition adds fabulous flavor. Another beautiful, tantalizing dish, Aysegul! <3
Yes.. Creme fraiche is truly delicious. My current favorite ingredient. And I just realized it is so up your alley because it is French…
Oh la la.. :))
Sarah | Well and Full
I really enjoyed reading about the difference between creme fraiche and sour cream, so thank you for that little informational sidebar! 🙂 And I love the way you used this ingredient in this pasta – it looks amazingly delicious and is seriously encouraging my constant pasta craving 😉 Cheers!
Thank you for your kind words Sarah. Creme fraiche is my new favorite ingredient. 🙂
This is absolutely dreamy! I’m a creme fraiche fanatic and I love how it adds a luxurious texture to a dish like this! I can see this as a fall/winter staple!
I am now too. I have a few recipes coming made with creme fraiche. It is such a delicious thing, isn’t it? 🙂
Aimee | Wallflower Kitchen
Pumpkin and sage were meant for each other <3 Another beautiful creation that has my tastebuds tingling!
Thank you my dear. I, too, am a big fan of that combination. 🙂
PS: I also love the rose & pistachio oil combination.. If you know what I mean 😉
Laura & Nora @Our Food Stories
oh this looks so inviting, would love to have it for dinner today 🙂
Awww thank you friends. I really appreciate you stopping by. <3
I defiantly need to try this is looks amazing x
Thank you Aimee. <3