Pinci is the same as pici, which is a big fat spaghetti similar to bucatini but not hollow. I think that tagliatelle or pappardelle would also be good with this sauce.
- 1 3/4 pounds pumpkin or orange squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-size chunks
- EVOO, for drizzling
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups chicken stock
- A fat pinch of saffron threads
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound pici pasta
- Chopped toasted walnuts, for garnish
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino cheeses, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Arrange about half of the pumpkin on a baking sheet, drizzle with EVOO, and season with salt, pepper, and a few gratings of nutmeg. Roast until tender and golden brown at the edges, about 25 minutes.
Combine the stock, saffron, sage, bay leaf, garlic, and the remaining pumpkin in a saucepan. Simmer until the pumpkin is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and puree the mixture.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Return the pumpkin puree to the pan, stir in the cream, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook to reduce and thicken a bit.
Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta al dente. Before draining, ladle out about a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water and add to the sauce. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the pumpkin sauce, tossing with tongs 1 or 2 minutes for the flavors to absorb. Fold in the pieces of roasted pumpkin.
Serve the pasta garnished with chopped walnuts and pass the cheese at the table.