In fall and winter, this elegantly rustic fresh pasta dish is equally comfortable as the first course of a stylish dinner party and as the main event at a casual vegetarian supper. Fresh pappardelle (broad, flat noodles, like extra-wide fettuccine) are tossed in a sauce you make by first softening onion and garlic in olive oil, then adding cubed butternut squash and fresh thyme and cooking until tender. Heavy cream reduces to form a sauce, and Parmesan cheese adds its unique umami richness. Crushed, almond-flavored amaretti cookies are an optional garnish—they’re traditional in northern Italy, where they add a bit of sweetness and a beautifully aromatic finish. For an alternative, check out our Pumpkin Tortelloni with Sage and Pumpkin Seeds.
You’ll need to make a batch of Fresh Pasta Dough before you begin.
Special equipment: A machine makes rolling pasta dough a snap. We like Imperia’s hand-cranked model.
We featured this recipe in our Christmas Day Feast, Italian Style photo gallery.
To make the sauce: