Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Penne with Arugula, Mushrooms and Romano

I am an avid lover of pumpkin desserts; give me a pumpkin truffle, cupcake, or pastry and I'm good.  Well, let's face it give me anything sweet involving pumpkin and I'll be very content.  Savory pumpkin dishes however, I'm not so sure about.  I see recipes from time to time that sound interesting but I'm not as likely to make.  I'm trying to be more open minded and incorporate new recipes in my collection, and that includes more savory pumpkin dishes. 

I came across this recipe on Elly's website; it sounded interesting and it really intrigued me.  The recipe incorporated many things I love; mushrooms, garlic, arugula and how could you go wrong with cheese and pasta?  I knew this dish couldn't disappoint since it utilized so many different foods that I love.  And I was right, it was delicious.

The sauce was thick and creamy, cheesy but not overly cheesy.  The arugula, sage and mushrooms all added a wonderful earthy flavor as well as a splash of color.  The use of pumpkin was minimal but each bite had a subtle hint of pumpkin flavor.  I love the sharpness and saltiness that the cheese added, as well.  The starchy, whole wheat pasta served as a wonderful canvas to display all these different flavors and textures.

This meal was completely satisfying and filling.  The mushrooms added much substance and heartiness to the dish, we didn't even miss the meat!  This was definitely a winner!  The entire family enjoyed it.  Tucker even went back for seconds!      

Pumpkin Penne with Arugula, Mushrooms and Romano


1 lb penne or other short pasta (I used whole wheat)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 lb cremini or porotbello mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1 Large onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb arugula or spinach
2 Tsp chopped fresh sage, plus optional fresh sage for finishing
1 (12 oz.) Can evaporated milk
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 Tbsp water
1/2 Cup pumpkin puree
3/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 Tsp freshly grated whole nutmeg
2 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, make the rest of the dish. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and stir in the arugula. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and arugula has wilted, stirring occasionally.

Combine milk and sage in medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Whisk together the cornstarch and water and add to the milk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cook 2 minutes or until thick and smooth, stirring constantly. Whisk in the pumpkin. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cheese.

Add pasta and sauce to mushroom mixture. Toss well to combine. Top with additional sage, if desired.

Recipe source: seen on Elly says Opa originally from Cooking Light

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