Sunday, November 22, 2009
Hey, Whole Foods! Can you please tell your cashiers to NOT pack my fancy, fragile crackers in the bottom of my bag? Underneath the onions and celery and milk? That plastic clam shell isn't reinforced with titanium and I'd prefer whole crackers to a dusty pile of crumbs that have no better use than on top of a tuna casserole, and there's no way I'm making one of those. K? Thanks.
Now that that's over...Thanksgiving is upon us and I've been mulling over what I should make for the feast. I'm debating between making a classic pumpkin pie and an apple tart with a cheddar crumble topping...or something else entirely. If I don't make the pumpkin pie, then I'm left with a can of pumpkin puree. But that's not such a bad thing. There's a lot you can do with leftover pumpkin and it doesn't have to have anything to do with a baked good. A savory pasta sauce is a great solution for a quick autumnal dinner. You'll probably have all of the ingredients on hand for Thanksgiving anyway. And if you don't, just make sure to ask the cashier to put the canned pumpkin in the bottom of your bag when you check out.
Pumpkin Penne Pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup solid packed pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15-ounce can)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound dried pasta
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, shallot, and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, broth, heavy cream, and 1 tablespoon of sage. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese.
3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain well and add to the pumpkin sauce. Stir to thoroughly coat the pasta. Serve with the remaining sage and 1/4 cup of cheese sprinkled on top. Makes 8 appetizer or 4 entree sized servings.