So I did break down and finally made pasta. It was a planned breakdown, of course. Pasta always comes back into my life, like a boomerang. We can’t be apart for too long.
This time, I had a bit of pumpkin puree to use up (big up to Eddie), and after reading through a gazillion pumpkin dessert recipes that called for pumpkin spice (which is just a no-no for me, sorry), I opted for a savory dish. I really really don’t regret it, and it made me really really not care about not posting a dessert recipe here in almost three weeks. — All in good time. Breathe, it’s going to be fine.
Why is pumpkin such a genius idea when combined with pasta you ask? Because it cuts down on all the bad things you usually add to pasta. And by bad I mean goooood. And by goooooog I mean artery-clogging. I’m referring to butter, heavy cream, cheese, you choose. None of those will be found in this recipe, because pumpkin replaced them all! Isn’t that awesome? It gives this very creamy texture with very little work. Not to mention all the veggies in there. I didn’t feel the need to add cheese because the vegetables were so fragrant (think: arugula and garlic pizza) that I had enough flavors going on in my plate as it was. I’m sure the same will happen to yours.
Pumpkin penne with arugula and mushrooms
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes (al dente)
- 1 lb penne
- 2 medium onions
- 4 large cloves garlic (or 6 small)
- 1 tbsp olive oil + a drizzle
- 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms
- 4 oz arugula
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + 1 1/2 tbsp water
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp milk
- 2 pinches nutmeg
1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, until al dente (about 10 minutes). Drain and return to pot, add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking, season with salt and pepper, set aside.
2. While the pasta is cooking, thinly slice the onions and mince the garlic. Chop the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and garlic, cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly, until golden. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring. Finally, add the arugula, stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes, until the arugula has wilted.
3. Whisk the cornstarch and the water until incorporated. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the milk. When it simmers, add the cornstarch mixture and stir vigorously, until no lumps remain. Remove from heat and add the pumpkin puree. Stir well until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and the nutmeg. Add to the pasta, stir well, then add the vegetables and stir. Serve warm.
- Do not overcook the mushrooms, you want them still firm so they give a meaty texture to the whole.
Source: adapted from Elly Says Opa.