pumpkin pasta? (fettuccine con zucca)

Rita whose famous mom Gabriela makes super-lasagna (famous in dr bob's mind at least) sent a brief note with a few lines of roughly this recipe added at the end. Unfortunately the whole recipe is slightly ambiguous, since Italian has no special word for "pumpkin", which instead is just another squash (zucca), but one that you rarely see over there since they don't have our Thanksgiving pie or Halloween traditions.

Rita actually wrote "zucca (pumpkin)", but although she has an American husband (indirectly bob's fault) and survived lengthy stays in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ (not noted for their abundance of pumpkins), our instincts told us not to trust her translation. A simple telephone call would have cleared up the matter, but it was always in the middle of the night back in Italy when we thought about it (she had returned to Rome for a while, but now years later is back in the USA). The butternut squash we tried was pretty orange, thus in a sense covering both sides of the ambiguity. In any case, if you like pumpkins, or pumpkin-like squash, you'll like this. We did.


9 oz fresh fettuccine
3 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 butternut squash, chopped in little cubes
1/3 c white wine (or even water)
1/4 pt (1/2 c) light cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c freshly grated parmigiano


  1. The butternut squash is a bit user-unfriendly. Peel the thing and cut it into smaller pieces without losing any fingers, finally getting to smaller little cubes. Size is not so important since this will be pureed.
  2. Sauté the onion and butternut squash cubes in olive oil, but since this will take a while (hard little suckers!), throw in the wine when the oil seems inadequate to prevent burning and cover, cooking on low heat for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes till soft.
  3. Blend the result with the cream and some salt and pepper to taste in a blender or food processor.
  4. Cook the pasta al dente. For fresh fettuccine this is quick.
  5. Combine the pasta and cream sauce with the cheese and serve.


  1. The odd size 9 oz was from one of those "almost fresh" supermarket pasta packages. The recipe can be adjusted slightly for a full pound. Still one butternut squash will do.
fettzucca.htm: 7-jan-2002 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]