Monday, November 14, 2022

Seasonally Saucy - Pumpkin Alfredo

As someone who is still burnt out on sweet pumpkin offerings (even after all these years,) I was thankful to see so many savory options at Lidl, like this pumpkin alfredo sauce. 

When it comes to store-bought sauces, I have never found one that was perfect right out of the jar, so I expected this to need a little doctoring. To give it an honest review, I'll try it first, as-is, and then I'll let you know what I did to make it better. 

I cooked up some farfalle, since it's what I had in the pantry, added in some steamed broccoli and chopped chicken breast for protein, mixed in the sauce and made myself a bowl.

When used directly from the jar, unaltered, it's pretty, "meh." 

I would describe the flavoring to be more like a squash-based broth, or pureed baby food, than an alfredo sauce. Which is surprising given the opaque color and thick texture. There is a nice earthiness from the pumpkin, and a hint of cheese, but it's dreadfully under seasoned. It has potential, like unsalted butter, but right from the jar? It's bland and unremarkable. 

As-is, I would not buy it again, but thankfully it's a decent base to build upon. 

I popped it back on the stove and added Dijon mustard (always enhances flavor and cheesiness), nutmeg, red pepper flake, cracked black pepper, kosher salt, freshly grated parmesan, a splash of heavy cream (to thin things back out as they thickened on the stove) and a bit of paprika. It took less than 5 minutes and it was so much better! 

We've gone from toddler mush to actual adult meal. It's almost restaurant-like! The mustard and parmesan enhanced the cheesiness, the seasoning added complexity and interest, and the cream loosed up the texture since cooking it longer on the stove with the spices made things over-thick. In the end, this was very cozy and comforting. I ended up liking it so much so that I would even buy this again!

It's a decent base to build upon and it made for a really quick, satisfying, seasonally on-theme dinner. Just don't expect it to be perfect right out of the jar. 

Fans of this would also like: Cafe Steamers Pumpkin Squash Ravioli, Trader Joe's Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli, or my Homemade Pumpkin Pizza

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