What is the general process of emulsification of starchy vegetables, pumpkin and squash in particular, into shiny and oily pasta sauces?

My first attempt was:

  1. Pressure-cook the flesh (until soft enough for mashing)
  2. Mash and mix with heavy cream, butter, vegetable oil and starchy pasta water

The result had consistency of a soup rather than sauce.

For my second attempt I plan to use a blender:

  1. Mix pasta water and heavy cream
  2. Add and mix in cooked pumpkin flesh
  3. Slowly pour vegetable oil while blending

Is this a viable idea? In the end I want consistency of https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/creamy-pumpkin-pasta

1 Answer 1


First, I would expect the Bon Appetit recipe to result in a greasy soup as written. It has both too much oil, and too much pasta water in it.

The standard way to make a "creamy" pumpkin sauce for pasta is to thicken it with a white sauce. This is an extremely reliable way to make sure that the sauce emulsifies together and does not break.

  • Do you suggest to have an emulsified sauce at hand to mix with vegetable flesh, thus effectively coating it with emulsion rather than creating an emulsion?
    – Kentzo
    Dec 1, 2023 at 23:00
  • 1
    Specifically a white sauce. A mayonnaise or hollandaise is just going to break when you dump in all that pumpkin.
    – FuzzyChef
    Dec 2, 2023 at 0:02

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