If you've never browned butter, you are missing out on some serious depth of flavor. Once browned, it doesn't take much butter to add a lot of character to just about any recipe. We don't eat a lot of butter in this house so it is with no reservation that I say there really is no substitute in this dish.
16 ounces (1 lb) whole wheat pasta
5 cups of beef stock (preferrably homemade)
3 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1 8-10 inch sprig of fresh rosemary
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
1 ½ cup dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
Parmesan cheese to garnish
1 – Bring beef stock and water to boil in pot large enough for cooking pasta.
2 – Add pasta and stir in; cooking for approximately 8 minutes or until al dente. Do not drain (see below).
3 – While pasta is cooking, heat frying/saute pan over high heat. Once pan is very hot, add butter.
4 – Stir butter and allow it to brown but not burn. While holding rosemary with one hand, use the other hand to scrape the needles off of the sprig and into the pan of hot butter.
5 – Add pumpkin to this and about 1 cup of the pasta water/stock mixture.
6 – Test pasta to see that it is just about finished. Using pasta spoon, lift pasta into pan with butter and pumpkin. Toss to coat.
7 – If using, add mushrooms to remaining pasta water to hydrate.
8 – Serve by tossing with mushrooms and garnishing with parmesan cheese curls (made with a vegetable peeler).
Makes 6 main course or 8 hearty side course servings. Per main course serving:
* Nutritional data calculated using nutritional compilation tool for 2,000 calorie diet and is deemed close but not exact.