This post is about making a super duper delicious pumpkin ale meat sauce. For pasta. With roasted butternut squash. And sage. And Parmesan. And cream. And pumpkin seeds.
Basically a harvest kind of meat sauce. And if the pasta is pappardelle, all the better.
As much as I wanted to see summer linger for another week or two (like last year) I need to accept the reality of Fall’s arrival and this is one of my ways of doing so. This sauce turned out really good, so I am officially tagging it as a Perrine Original Recipe (as opposed to a Perrine Take on a Classic Recipe). Remember how I wrote that I will be tagging all of our Cooking with Craft Beer and Pairing Craft Beer with Food recipes with one of these tags? Done. Only took me three months. Still to decide on a creative way to use the tags. One day the blogging thing will come to me, I am pretty sure.
About the pumpkin ale meat sauce. Pumpkin ale is excellent to cook with and bake with. It gently sweetens and imparts subtle pumpkin spice aromas and flavor. Subtle. For this, both Chris and I are very grateful (he makes this aaaamazing beef stew with it). When it comes to drinking pumpkin ale…
Confession time. We have made great efforts over the past few Fall seasons to like pumpkin ales. We have sampled many at breweries and bought a fair number to try at home. Too sweet and too pumpkin spiced for our tastes. The closest we have ever come to liking these ales is pumpkin saisons, because of the insatiability of saison yeast, which relentlessly goes after every last sugary particle in the wort than can be devoured and helps the beer finish dry. Saison yeast is a hero yeast according to us:)
Unfortunately, it does not get rid of pumpkin spice aromas. Therein lurks the problem. Most pumpkin ales are crafted so as to convey pumpkin spice (I get it if you just said “Duh”:), promote it if you will and we’re just not into drinking pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice lattes disguised as beer. So sorry if you are a fan of pumpkin ale and think that we are totally doing it injustice! Please be understating.
When it comes to recipes though…we are like “Hello, pumpkin ales! So good to hang out with you again!”
Get ready to see a few pretty good (if we say so ourselves) recipes in the coming weeks featuring the ale that the Perrines do not drink:)
For our pumpkin ale meat sauce I chose ground turkey because it is almost neutral flavor wise and very receptive to flavor infusions coming from ales, spices or other ingredients. Plus, I just love how the longer you simmer ground turkey in a sauce, the more it melts into the sauce. If you use a slow cooker, it can almost disappear into a sauce – like with this Farmhouse Ale Turkey Chili.
Because the sage roasted butternut squash has a mild sweet flavor, accentuated by salt & pepper and because grated Parmesan imparts nuttiness to the sauce during the simmering over low heat stage the pumpkin ale simply shines here. It shines people! Elevates the sauce to a whole new level that chicken stock or milk could not touch.
I will leave you with a short video demonstration (feel free to use whatever pasta makes you happy) and the full recipe. Bring it on pumpkin ale season! By the way, Chris is putting a very similar sauce on his Fall menu this year.
Yum! Forgot to mention that we paired with Dunkel. For obvious reasons we shied away from pumpkin ale.
- 2 small butternut squashes (or 1 medium to large)
- 10 fresh sage leaves (plus more, see below)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1 12 oz pumpkin ale
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ⅓ cup water (approximately, to thin out sauce as needed)
- 1 lb ground turkey (lean)
- ¼ cup cream
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 1-2 sprigs of fresh sage (for garnish)
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (for garnish)
- Parmesan shavings (for garnish)
- Pappardelle pasta (enough for 4 servings)
- Heat up oven to 400 °F.
- Peel the butternut squash, slice it in half, clean the seeds out and dice it into 2 inch cubes.
- Place in a bowl and drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil + sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Add the fresh sage leaves and toss well. Spread over a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 20 minutes, take out of the oven and set aside until needed.
- In a frying pan over medium heat sweat the onions and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. Once translucent, add the ground turkey, season with salt and pepper and begin to gently break down the ground turkey with a wooden spoon.
- Cook until browned and set aside.
- In the meantime in a large pot over medium high heat bring the pumpkin ale to simmer.
- Turn off the heat and add the sage roasted squash and the tomato paste to the ale.
- Using a hand held immersion blender begin blending until you achieve a smooth texture. Thin out with water as needed, keeping in mind that you will simmer the sauce for another 5-10 min. (Alternatively, place the roasted squash inside a blender, add the tomato paste and warm pumpkin ale and blend with a towel covering the opening in the center of the lid. You may need to work in two batches. Start blending on slow. DO NOT OVERFILL the blender, the hot mixture will explode everywhere. Return to pot where you simmered the ale once done blending).
- Turn the heat back on, to medium low and add the ground turkey to the ale & butternut squash mixture.
- Add the grated Parmesan and cream, stir well and simmer for 5 to 10 min. The sauce will then be ready. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- While sauce is simmering, prepare enough pasta (al dente, pappardelle recommended, boil for about 7 minutes) for 4 servings.
- Toss strained pasta with a lump or two of unsalted butter, divide between 4 bowls, top generously with pumpkin ale meat sauce.
- Garnish with pumpkin seeds, Parmesan shavings and fresh sage. Serve immediately.