Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pumpkin Pasta

Even if it might be 80 degrees outside, it is fall! This is one of my favorite comfort foods. It sounds interesting, and looks interesting, but let me assure you that it is wonderful. We saw this recipe in a Rachel Ray cook book, titled Pumpkin Cauliflower Pasta. I like pasta, squash, and cauliflower, so I thought "why not". There are a decent number of flavors going on here, and it tastes like it would be more difficult to make than it really is.

Over time, we've changed the herbs/spices we use and the portions of ingredients. The recipe calls for chicken broth. We've tried both vegetable broth and water, but they just don't add near as much flavor, so chicken broth it is. I've used both parmesan and feta cheeses, and a combo of both (depending on what is in the fridge). The original recipe calls for heavy cream. We started by using skim milk instead, and lately we've just been leaving that out all together. The pumpkin puree really makes a nice texture for the sauce.

I know we've served this to guests before, and I'm sure we'll serve it to more people for years to come.

8 oz whole wheat pasta
1/2 C. pumpkin puree
1/4 C. parmesan cheese
1 C. Chicken broth or liquid of choice
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets, or 1 16 oz bag of frozen cauliflower, thawed (but the florets in the bags tend to be a bit too big)
2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

-Bring water a to a boil. Cook pasta as directed

-While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme. Cook for about 2 minutes.

-Add cauliflower. Stir to coat with oil. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

-Once pasta is cooked, drain & return to stock pot. The cauliflower should be done soon. Once the cauliflower is done, pour into the pasta. Add pumpkin puree, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground pepper, salt and parmesan. Stir to combine. Serve warm.