Merrill Stubbs of Food52 recently enjoyed a stellar meal at Al Forno in Providence, Rhode Island. If you’re searching for an autumnal treat, she suggests trying their cheesy pumpkin and pancetta baked pasta — or, make it yourself! Its meld of flavors is sure to satisfy; rich, zesty, and mildly sweet. This dish also features little chunks of pumpkin throughout and a pumpkin puree cream sauce. Delectable!
When I got home, I consulted the recipe for the 5-cheese version, from Cucina Simpatica, and did my best to recreate what I’d had at the restaurant, adding roast pumpkin, pancetta, and a little thyme. The most important part of the technique? You boil the pasta for barely 5 minutes, allowing the final blast in a flaming hot oven to cook it through to al dente and tinge the edges of the shells a lovely rich brown.
Photo by Food52