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Pasta Al Forno with Pumpkin and Pancetta

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.

Get the recipe on Food52

Photo by Food52

Vanessa Lyons

Vanessa was an online editorial intern at culture. She grew up in New Hampshire enjoying her mother’s glorious cooking, which ignited a zeal for tasty cuisine. A stint at a specialty food and wine store only elevated this desire, specifically for cheese and any of its fermented accompaniments. When not attempting to bolster her cheese knowledge, she escaped to coastal Maine or locked herself in her bedroom to read Game of Thrones.