Fettuccine with Winter Spiced Cream Sauce and Rosemary Sage Meatballs

Fettuccine with Winter Spiced Cream Sauce and Rosemary Sage Meatballs
Fettuccine with Winter Spiced Cream Sauce and Rosemary Sage Meatballs

This is, perhaps, one of our new favorite pasta dishes for the cold months. The goal was to infuse some winter spices and herbs into a savory dish that would, ultimately, make you feel like you were in the Italian Alps. IMO…goal achieved! This Fettuccine with Winter Spiced Cream Sauce and Rosemary Sage Meatballs is full of all the flavors you love to enjoy this time of the year!

Homemade Fettuccine

Let’s start with the pasta, shall we? Fettuccine is a perfect noodle to soak up a beautiful sauce. That was not too tough of a decision, but I must say, there are a ton of options when it comes to pasta shapes you can enjoy with this dish. Our Multipurpose Pasta dough is velvety and provides the perfect mouthfeel for this dish. This pasta is the foundation of the dish.

Winter Flavors

Acorn squash seems to get forgotten when winter squash varieties are talked about, but we really love the subtle-sweet and slightly earthy and herbal flavor that it brings to every dish. It also really helps bring another element to the pasta that is complimentary, background, but also delightful.

Winter Spiced Cream Sauce
Winter Spiced Cream Sauce

Before we talk about the sauce, we should address the amazing meatballs that complement everything and really bring out the winter season. With rosemary and sage, and the right amount of seasoning, these meatballs explode with flavor! The recipe makes plenty since who doesn’t need to “try one” when they come out of the oven? Yup…we all must have a taste to make sure they’re OK, right?!

All about that Sauce

If this dish was a football team, the sauce would be the quarterback for sure. No matter what else happens, you’ll remember it and talk about it. And this is an easy technique-driven cream sauce that you can adapt, manipulate, and customize for many other dishes. But we’re talking about THIS dish and THIS sauce and holy poo-poo, it’s nothing short of astounding.

The sauce is infused with a lesser-used winter spice combination for the sauce, as well. There are so many “winter” spices to choose from, but we settled on just two and a fresh herb to make this perfection. Mace, allspice, and fresh sage do the trick and will make you very happy to be snowed in! Mace is the covering surrounding the nutmeg seed and it has a nice subtle nutmeg flavor without being too overpowering in this dish. Allspice has a unique flavor that absolutely compliments the mace and fresh sage. The final ingredient is a small amount of Pecorino Romano cheese. There is not enough of it to turn the cream sauce into a cheesy sauce, but the flavors really add the finishing touch to the dish.

Iron Side Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir
Iron Side Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir

A three-step process of reducing the wine, then the stock, and then the cream will give you a lovely, thick sauce that will probably make you a happier person! The cream is just soaking up a beautiful base of flavor while being infused by some amazing spices. The sauce is the showstopper of this dish, and once you make it, you will see why!

Food and Wine Pairing

We paired this wintery dish with Iron Side Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir. This wine sips so nicely with the pasta dish with its notes of black cherries and plums along with some earthy layers. This California Pinot Noir is fruit forward and full-bodied with an energetic freshness that excites the tastebuds. It’s a lovely pairing for this Fettuccine with Winter Spiced Cream Sauce and Rosemary Sage Meatballs.

Fettuccine with Winter Spiced Cream Sauce and Rosemary Sage Meatballs
Fettuccine with Winter Spiced Cream Sauce and Rosemary Sage Meatballs


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Fettuccine with Winter Spiced Cream Sauce and Rosemary Sage Meatballs

5 from 1 vote
Course: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1 lb 1 dry fettuccine (or 1 recipe homemade Multipurpose Pasta)

  • For the Meatballs
  • ½ lb beef

  • ½ lb veal

  • 7 g 7 kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ½ tsp rosemary, fresh and finely chopped

  • 2 tsp 2 sage, fresh and finely chopped

  • 1 1 egg

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 panko breadcrumbs

  • For the Squash
  • ½ of a medium acorn squash (200g) peeled and cut in ¼” dice

  • 1 Tbsp 1 butter

  • 1 tsp 1 kosher salt

  • For the Sauce
  • 1 small 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp 2 butter or olive oil

  • ½ cup dry white wine (pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc or equivalent dryness)

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 chicken stock

  • 1 1 ½ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ tsp ground allspice

  • ¼ tsp ground mace

  • Pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp 1 sage, fresh and finely chopped

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • Pinch black pepper

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 grated Pecorino Romano Cheese


  • If making homemade pasta, make the dough first following the directions for Multipurpose Pasta cut into fettuccine. This can be made hours in advance and set aside on a sheet tray. Or it can be made and frozen to use at a later time.
  • Make the Meatballs
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a parchment lined sheet tray. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Roll into balls around 1 ¼ inches in diameter. This will make between 20 and 25 meatballs (more than enough for 4 servings).
  • Place the meatballs on the sheet tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove and cut one open to test for doneness.
  • Make the squash
  • Once you have diced the squash, heat a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the squash, and slowly cook the squash. Sprinkle with the salt and cook until the squash is tender (approx 5-8 minutes) – if there is a small amount of color on the squash, that is fine. Set aside.
  • Prepare your pot of water for your pasta by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. While you wait for your water to boil, begin your sauce.
  • Make the Sauce
  • To a medium saucepan, add the butter or oil to coat the bottom over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until they are translucent.
  • Turn the heat to medium high and add the wine. Cook until the wine has reduced to 2-3 tablespoons. Add the chicken stock and reduce again over medium to medium-high heat until there is about ¼ cup of liquid in the pan.
  • On medium heat, add the cream and whisk to combine. Add the allspice, mace, cayenne, sage, salt, and pepper and stir. Continue to cook until reduced by about a third and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the Pecorino Romano, then taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • Cook the Pasta
  • Add a handful of salt to the pot of boiling water and stir. Make sure your water is rapidly boiling, then add the fettuccine. Cook for about two to three minutes for homemade pasta – taste for doneness (if using store-bought fettuccine, follow package directions to al dente).
  • Remove the fettuccine to a large serving bowl combine with the cream sauce, squash, and meatballs and use a small amount of the pasta water to thin the cream sauce if necessary.
  • You can garnish with additional Pecorino Romano cheese, fried sage leaves, red pepper flakes, etc.

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