It's time to revisit a Fall Seasonal item that likes to appear on store shelves in the Fall. And yes, this is one of several seasonal kinds of pasta that like to show up on store shelves. In a typical year, you'll see the appearance of the colorful Trofie Colore and the Winter Snowflake Pasta. But at the end of the day, while they may look different, the taste is similar.
I had passed this item several times but didn't pick it up when I saw it. In typical shopping at Trader Joe's style, the next time I went in, it wasn't there and did not reappear until this year. While this does make its annual appearance in time for fall, this is something that made my inner child get excited (like being an adult and finding the stuffed animal in the store excited).
Excitement aside, these are some really cute pasta. I've seen a number of pasta shapes, but the actual little pumpkins are a new one. They're closed on one side almost like someone had hollowed out a pumpkin for carving. Since I have a toddler, he thought they were pretty good. They looked different from what he is used to. Best of all he can pick these up fairly easily.
These are supposed to taste like butternut squash. But aside from the color here, they still just taste like regular pasta. So while these are adorable, they aren't without problems.
In fact, the biggest problem is the directions.
While this said it takes 7-9 minutes, I was starting to approach 14 minutes to get to al dente.
So you might want to test your pasta before draining it. And test and re-test. Otherwise, they cooked up fine but did not quite hold on to their shape as much as I had hoped. With the small pinhole at the bottom of each pumpkin, some of the mine opened right up and created some flattened pasta. Some just broke into pieces.
While that's no deal-breaker, the butternut squash flavor wasn't very strong or assertive in any way beyond color. So, you are basically getting average pasta that takes a very long time to cook. It's also double the price.
Now, to be fair if this helped a kid eat their dinner then the $1.99 price tag is worth it. I don't feel like I need an excuse to eat pasta, but I could have put dinner on the table in half the time. For me, this is a buy-once product. If I had kids, my answer might be different.
Until then, this seems to reappear year after year but be prepared for it to disappear as well.
Would I buy this again? While Trader Joe's Fall Zucchette Pasta was fun and whimsical, the taste was ok, it took too long to cook and it did not really taste like butternut squash. It just tasted like, well, pasta. This is a one-and-done for me.
Where to buy
If you can't live without this product, then this item is available during the Fall, usually after Labor Day in most Trader Joe's. If you don't live near Trader Joe's then you can find this product on Amazon through third-party sellers. If that is sold out then ZPasta sells a pretty close product that seems like it pretty much the same.
The bag of Trader Joe's Fall Zucchette Pasta:
Calories, ingredients, and directions
(however, I would absolutely recommend testing the pasta rather than relying on the directions. Mine needed about 4 more minutes beyond the recommended cook time on this):
After being cooked you get:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Fall Zucchette Pasta
Product Name: Trader Joe's Fall Zucchette Pasta
Product Description: Pumpkin shaped pasta that is seasonal.
A fun, seasonal pasta that is shaped like pumpkins and even has the natural coloring of butternut squash.
- Trader Joe's Fall Zucchette Pasta is whimsical and seasonal pasta.
- My inner kid couldn't wait to get these home.
- I think they need to check the cooking directions. I needed an addition 5 minute to reach al dente.
- So if you make this, please test before draining.
- It still just tastes like pasta.