Thursday, September 25, 2008

Penne Wise Pumpkin Pasta-Sans Penne

Do you have any favorite pasta shapes? Or any shapes that you just don't like? I love orzo (who doesn't right?), rigatoni, tortellini (but that's probably due to the lovely cheesy filling), angel hair and radiatori. Orzo has an almost melt in your mouth texture when you eat it and rigatoni and radiatori really hold onto thick chunky sauces well. Angel hair has a nice lightness to it. On the other hand-I don't like rotini or fusilli. Something about its shape gives it a texture that I don't enjoy all that much. I'll eat it-but I definitely don't prefer it.
Last night I used some radiatori pasta to make Rachel Ray's Penne-wise Pumpkin Pasta recipe that I found on the Taste and Tell blog I've been food gawking at lately. I didn't have any penne and I knew that the little radiator shaped pasta curls would hold onto chunks of a pumpkin based sauce nicely.
I was excited to try this dish because anything with pumpkin in it is a winner for me. I love what pumpkin can do in both sweet and savory dishes. Hmmm...I think I'll try a new pumpkin recipe and post it here each week up until Thanksgiving.
Speaking of Turkey Day...what better to pair with pumpkin pasta then some sage and onion turkey meatballs? I didn't follow any real recipe for the meatballs, just threw ground turkey, bread crumbs, sauteed onions, sage, black pepper and salt and egg and a little thyme together and baked the meatballs. The kitchen still smelled like turkey day after I cleaned up and went to bed last night. Mmmm.
I like this-I think I added a little more Parmesan than the recipe called for and I also didn't use the cream that the recipe called for. I had about a 1/4 cup of half and half on hand and then added some skim milk to get the 1/2 cup of dairy required for the recipe. I don't think this hindered the recipe at all. It was still tasty. I also had to sub dry spices for the fresh and onion for the shallots because that's what I can afford right now.
I have to say -if you are looking for something with bold flavor-this isn't the dish for you. It was a light and mild flavored pasta dish-but I find that to be pretty normal for most savory dishes that are pumpkin based. There always seems to be a light freshness about them. I will definitely make this again.
Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta
1 pound whole-wheat penne
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated
2 cups chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cream**
1 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
2 pinches ground cinnamon
Salt and black pepper
7 to 8 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced plus more, for garnish
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat water for pasta, salt it and cook penne to al dente.
Heat the oil, 2 turns of the pan, 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.


Alyssa said...

This sounds soooo good and fall-ish. I am definitely adding this to my meal plan for next week.

Amy said...

WOOHOO i am excited about this dish because it sounds yummy, i am on my way to the store to get what i need to chef it up! And i think i am gonna make those blackberry scones you posted a link too, i LOVE blackberries.

Jessica said...

What a great idea to pair pumpkin pasta with turkey sage meatballs. This recipe definitely intrigues me. I'll be trying it in the next few weeks.

Look Cupcake said...

Rotini is actually my favorite. I like the tri-color kind tossed with toasted parmesan. Big time comfort food.

This dish looks incredible. And there is no winner quite like sage with poultry. YUMM