Difficulty Level: Easy
Total Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 2-4 servings
1/2 lb. zucca pasta or any short cut pasta
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups pumpkin purée
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vodka
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
4 oz. smoked mozzarella, cubed
4 oz. ciliegine (mini mozzarella), torn
4 sprigs of basil for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°F and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over low heat and sauté the chopped shallot until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a further 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the pumpkin purée, tomato paste and 1/2 tsp. salt to the pan. Stir and let sit on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes until the pumpkin-tomato mixture deepens in color.
Add 1/4 cup of vodka to deglaze the pan. Stir until the vodka has fully evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream. Add more salt to taste.
Once the water comes to a boil, add plenty of salt. Cook the pasta until for half of the recommended cooking time. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
Strain the pasta and add it to a large mixing bowl along with the pumpkin sauce and 1/4 cup pasta water. Mix in the ricotta, Parmigiano, smoked mozzarella and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt.
Top with the mini mozzarella and transfer the mixture to an oven safe baking dish.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and top with basil.