Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin: Thinking Outside The Pie

I was looking for inspiration while roaming the aisles of Nature's Temptations, a locally-owned whole food organic market, and had an epiphany! Why not pair the salty, pungent taste of Gorgonzola cheese with a creamy fresh pumpkin sauce.

One caveat: The pasta was store-bought. I know, shame on me. Next time I will attempt to make my own; however, the all natural, no preservative brand La Piana was quite good and a reasonable substitute in a pinch.

Gorgonzola Mezzaluna in Pumpkin Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Gorgonzola mezzaluna (store bought)
  • 1, 2 lb. pumpkin
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Peel the pumpkin halves and dice the flesh into pieces.
  3. Place the diced pumpkin in a large saute pan, that has a cover, and add enough water to just cover all the pieces.
  4. Heat the pan to bring the water to a boil. Then, put on the lid and cook for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin pieces are fork tender.
  5. While the pumpkin cooks heat the olive oil in a small saute pan.
  6. When the olive oil is fragrant add the sliced shallot and garlic. Saute until the shallot is translucent and the garlic is lightly browned.
  7. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  8. Once the pumpkin pieces are very tender, drain, and add them into a blender.
  9. Add the sauteed shallot and garlic to the blender.
  10. Pour in the vegetable broth.
  11. Add the nutmeg and dried sage.
  12. Blend until smooth.
  13. In a large pot bring 5-6 quarts of water for the pasta to a boil.
  14. While you wait for the water to boil, heat the butter in a large saute pan.
  15. When the butter is fully melted and sizzling pour in the pumpkin mixture. Stir. Reduce heat to low and let is simmer until the pasta is ready. Occasionally stir the sauce.
  16. When the water boils, throw in the pasta and cook according to package instructions or until al dente.
  17. When the pasta is al dente, remove from the heat and drain. Reserve some of the pasta water!
  18. Add the cooked pasta to the simmering pumpkin sauce and mix to well combine.
  19. If the sauce has thickened too much, just spoon in some of the reserved pasta water until you get the desired consistency. (We prefer it one the thicker side.)
  20. It's ready to serve.

NOTE: This recipe was a big hit with the husband and is now officially on the you-need-to-make-this-again list. Feel free to adapt the recipe and see what other flavor combinations work best for you.

8 comments:

  1. What a great alternative use for pumpkin. Looks delicious!

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  2. I had never done a savory dish with fresh pumpkin before. I am definitely going to make it again soon.

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  3. Thanks for sending this my way, Alicia. I'll definitely put it in the pumpkin roundup. Can I grab a photo for a thumbnail to include? Thanks, Amy (StreamingGourmet)

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  4. Cool Amy! Yes, feel free to grab the photo for a thumbnail.

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  5. You know what? Sometimes you gotta go store bought. The stomach hunger can be a more pressing urge! :) This looks fantastic - pumpkin and Gorgonzola make a good duo!

    Peas Love Carrots

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  7. One of my favorite memories is a Thanksgiving spent in Italy, when our hosts made us roasted turkey (which was very difficult for them to find) and zucca sauce!! I love it, it's so much easier and just as tasty as putting the zucca inside tortelli or ravioli.

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  8. Mae: The flavor combo was definitely as good as I hoped it would be.

    Zoe: Wow, a Thanksgiving in Italy. That sounds like it was fun. It's so great your hosts tried to give you a taste of home.

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