Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice (Including Wine)

It seemed to arrive with less fanfare than in past years, but it did arrive late last month.

That’s right, the pumpkin spice latte is back at Starbucks, along with various other pumpkin-flavored treats (pumpkin spice frap, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin loaf…).

In the years since Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice flavor to America’s coffee drinkers, other companies have hopped on the bandwagon.

Jello-O has offered a pumpkin spice-flavored pudding.

Swiss Miss has released a pumpkin spice-flavored hot chocolate mix.

Even the makers of SPAM have offered a limited-edition pumpkin spice flavor for its pork and ham conglomeration.

When presented in certain types of dishes, the flavor of pumpkin can meld marvelously with wine — specifically, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc.

Make the dish that follows, open a bottle of Chenin Blanc or Pinot Blanc, and prepare to be pleasantly surprised… along with three or four of your family members and/or friends.

PUMPKIN CARBONARA

Ingredients

* 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

* 1/3 lb. pancetta, finely diced

* 2 shallots, minced

* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

* 9 leaves sage, thinly sliced

* Black pepper

* ½ cup Chenin Blanc or Pinot Blanc (whichever you plan to drink with the meal)

* 1½ cups pumpkin puree

* 1 lb. tagliatelle

* ½ cup grated pecorino

* ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

* Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

* Toasted pumpkin seeds

Preparation

1. Heat a large, deep skillet and coat bottom of skillet with olive oil, then add pancetta.

2. Cook until fat is rendered (about two-and-a-half minutes) and use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate.

3. Stir in shallots, garlic and sage, and season with pepper to taste.

4. Add wine and cook until reduced by half.

5. Stir in pumpkin puree and reduce heat to low.

6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add tagliatelle and cook following package directions.

7. About a minute before pasta is done cooking, take 1 cup of cooking water and stir into the puree.

8. Turn off heat and drain pasta.

9. Place pecorino, Parmigiano-Reggiano, tagliatelle and three-quarters of pancetta into a pan with the pumpkin mixture. Season with pepper.

10. Add more cooking water, if needed, to loosen the sauce.

11. Serve completed dish in shallow bowls and top with remaining pancetta, parsley and pumpkin seeds.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes

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