Monday, November 16, 2009

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

I posted this recipe last month, but I'm re-posting it so that it is easier to find with the other pumpkin class recipes.
I didn't include this recipe when I taught my last cooking class on pasta sauces because I already had plenty of recipes and I decided to save this one for a pumpkin-themed class--coming soon. However, after several requests from family and friends who have tasted this at my house, I'm going to post the recipe early. I only make it in the fall--I'm just weird that way. Pumpkin=fall. So try this and see what you think. And when canned pumpkin goes on sale, stock up so you can make this all year long(unless you're weird like me). Or, if you don't find a sale on pumpkin, go visit my sister, Monette. If I know her, pretty soon she'll have a freezer full of fresh, pureed pumpkin--skins and all.

I would have posted this sooner but I had to make it again to test amounts of ingredients I use, because this is a recipe I made up. It's loosely based on an recipe I saw in a magazine at the dentist's office a couple of years ago, but that recipe had cinnamon and cloves. That's great in pumpkin pie, but I wanted a main dish that didn't taste like a dessert, so I went home and created this version. I served this to some friends who liked it but asked, "Do your kids eat this?" Yes, they do, and all of them like it! I hope your family will give it a chance--it's a favorite around here.

1 lb. pasta (I usually use penne but tortellini is really good, too)
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 T. flour
Sliced mushrooms (optional)
Sliced red bell pepper (also optional)
3 cloves garlic (or more)
2 c. chicken broth (I use water and bouillon)
15 oz. can pumpkin
1 t. salt
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2-1c. cream (I use light sour cream or cream cheese)
Parmesan cheese
Toasted walnuts or pumpkin seeds

Cook pasta as directed and drain. Saute onion and garlic (and mushrooms and pepper, if using) in olive oil for 5 minutes. Stir in flour. Add chicken broth and simmer for a few more minutes until vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in pumpkin until smooth. Add salt, basil, and pepper flakes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in cream before serving and simmer on low heat. Add more cream, milk, or broth if sauce seems too thick.

Serve over pasta and top with parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts. I used pumpkin seeds (pepitas) in the picture above because I had them, but I think I prefer the walnuts.


amy said...

That looks delicious. Do you know a great price per ounce for canned pumpkin?

Lara said...

We were making spaghetti for dinner tonight anyway, so I just made this sauce instead of our tomato sauce. We had everything except the mushrooms. My kids were surprised by the lighter color, but ended up loving it anyway. Even my husband, who sometimes turns his nose up at my adventures in healthy cooking, really liked it too!

Just curious about one instruction in there, it says to add chicken, but the ingredients didn't list chicken. Was it supposed to the chicken broth? That's what I did.

ahs said...

yummy! i'm so glad you posted this one!!

Mirien said...

Lara-thanks for noticing my mistake. You were correct--I fixed it in the recipe. I'm glad you liked it!

The Dahle Family said...

Thanks, Mirien! I made this for Aaron's family when we went to visit in June (I can't be weird like you when I'm trying to use what's in my freezer!) and even his picky-eater nephew who doesn't like vegetables really liked this pasta. So give it a chance, everyone. Pumpkin doesn't always have to go with cinnamon and cloves! I love it!

Mirien said...

Amy-I'm watching for pumpkin to go on sale soon. In past years I've been able to find the 15 oz cans for .50 or the 29 oz for .99--that's a great price, but those sales are hard to find. The best time to buy is right before Thanksgiving or sometimes after the season is over.

Laurie said...

This is really delicious, but be careful. If you use home prepared pumpkin, as I did, from my freezer, you will have a very watery sauce. Canned pumpkin is very thick and dry. Cut the broth/water and add it as needed.

Marliese said...

I made this tonight and thought of you. Thanks for sharing. Yum!!

Marliese said...

Made this again today but with cooked, pureed yellow summer squash. I held the cream and added a little tomato sauce. Excellent.

Rosemary said...

Mmmmm, I had some leftover canned OG pumpkin that I thought about using for a pasta sauce, and I came upon your recipe during a Google search and used it as inspiration for what turned out to be an incredibly delicious meal. I used garlic, onion, zucchini, crookneck squash, a jalapeno, some shiitake mushrooms, and a roma tomato as the veggie base, plus dill, chives, sage, a tad of nutmeg and cinnamon just for nuance, and some sea salt. I added water for consistency along with the pumpkin, then put in a tiny glob of agave nectar for good measure. Oh, and some neufchatel cheese for creaminess. Yum! I chose spelt spaghetti for the pasta and parmesan, romano, and toasted/salted pepitas for topping, though next time I'll probably try it with tortellini for a twist. :) Thank you for an excellent idea!