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Pumpkin Pappardelle alla Vodka

Difficulty Level: Easy

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4 servings


  • 1/2 lb. fresh pappardelle pasta

  • 10 sage leaves

  • 2 tbsp. butter

  • 1/3 cup speck, coarsely chopped

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 cups pumpkin purée

  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. sugar

  • 1/4 cup vodka

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat and fry the sage leaves until they begin to crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. In a separate small sauté pan, add the speck and sauté for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over low heat and sauté the chopped shallot until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a further 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

  4. Add the pumpkin purée, tomato paste, speck, salt and sugar to the pan. Stir and let sit on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes until the pumpkin-tomato mixture deepens in color.

  5. Add 1/4 cup of vodka to deglaze the pan. Stir until the vodka has fully evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream and Parmigiano. Add more salt to taste.

  7. Once the water comes to a boil, add plenty of salt. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water.

  8. Strain the pasta and add it to the pan along with the pumpkin sauce and 1/4 cup pasta water. Toss on high heat until the pasta is fully coated in the sauce. Add more pasta water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.

  9. Plate and top with crispy sage and more Parmigiano.


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