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Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Penne Pasta

Here is something I promise I have never had before - pasta with pumpkin sauce! Since this is way too exotic for my husband's palette, I decided to try this recipe I found on Weight Watchers before he comes back home from deployment. This was super easy to make and took no time at all to prepare. My kids, surprisingly, loved this (I was expecting the far opposite), and I thought it was ok. I didn't mind eating it, but pumpkin and pasta is probably not on my top favorite flavor-combination list, but that is just a matter of personal preference. I am glad that I gave this a try, though - it definitely was out of my comfort zone and now I won't be afraid to try something this "exotic" again. If you are a fan of pumpkin, you should definitely give this a try - it was a surprisingly tasty sauce.

By the way, I realize that this is not a "vegetarian" dish using chicken stock, but you can substitute vegetable broth to be truly vegetarian. To me, "vegetarian" means no big hunks of meat, lol...

Pumpkin Penne Pasta
Serves 6

1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
2 cups chicken stock
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
2 pinches ground cinnamon
salt and black pepper, to taste
7-8 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

1. Heat water for pasta, salt it and cook penne to al dente.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic to the pan, saute 3 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and combine with pumpkin, stir in cream then season sauce with hot sauce, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 to 6 minutes more to thicken. Stir in sage, toss with pasta with grated cheese, to taste.

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