Tag Archives: Pizza and Pasta

Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

Pumpkin month continues here at StreamingGourmet. I love to make savory pumpkin dishes and this is one of my favorites. You can use this sauce with Gnocchi or Ravioli stuffed with squash or pumpkin, or penne, shells or spaghetti. You can make a vegan version (see the link at the bottom) or you can load it up with butter, cream, and cheese. Either way, go easy on the nutmeg. A pinch goes a long way. You could add a little cinnamon, but I don’t like it when these sauces start to taste like pie. We’ll get to pie later.

Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 lb pasta (spaghetti or penne or shells)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried sage
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, finely diced
1/2 cup white wine
I cup canned puréed pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Additional Parmesan cheese for garnish
Additional fresh sage for garnish

Method

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sautée for one minute. Add the sage, onion, and carrot and sautée until softened and slightly browned, about five minutes. Add the white wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the pumpkin and vegetable stock and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

2. While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta according to package directions.

3. Once the sauce has simmered, reduce the heat even further. Add heavy cream and nutmeg. Stir well and heat through for about 3 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and stir. Add pasta to the pan and allow the sauce to soak in. Spoon into bowls. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and sprigs of fresh sage.

If you liked this recipe, you might also like:
1. Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce Recipe at SimplyRecipes.com

2. For a vegan version: Pumpkin Pasta Sauce at Vegweb.com

3. Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Cream Sauce by StreamingGourmet

Pumpkins at Paradise Market, Corte Madera, CA

Mac-n-Cheese w/ Hidden Broccoli & Cauliflower

Mac-n-Cheese w/ Broccoli & Cauliflower Hidden Inside

Mac-n-Cheese w/ Broccoli & Cauliflower Hidden Inside

My four-year old is a very picky eater. If he could have macaroni and cheese at every meal, he would. So I’ve taken to hiding healthy foods in the mac-n-cheese to ensure he’s getting enough nutrition. This version worked pretty well. If I were making it for myself, I would have used stronger cheeses like (you guessed it) Gruyére, and I would have added other punchy flavors like garlic or nutmeg. But I wanted this dish to go down without a fuss, so cheddar ruled the day.

I didn’t conceal from him the fact that I was concealing healthy foods in his macaroni and cheese. In fact, I enlisted his help during the broccoli and cauliflower grinding process. He loves to push the button. We used my new Cuisinart mini chopper. It’s a snap to pull out, use, and clean up.

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus

Available at Amazon - Click here

Iain

My son

Broccoli Chopped in the Mini Prep

Broccoli Chopped in the Mini Prep

Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli and Cauliflower
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb elbow macaroni
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/4 cup whole milk (or heavy cream to make it really decadent)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (we had fun shredding ours in a vintage Mouli)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter

Broccoli & Cauliflower sautéeing

Broccoli & Cauliflower sautéeing

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Put broccoli florets into food processor and grind into teeny weeny pieces. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with cauliflower.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and cauliflower and toss. Basically, we’re browning these vegetables just a little bit to enhance the nutty sweet flavors they bring to the dish. After a few minutes, turn off the heat and leave for later.

3. Bring salted water to boil in a large pot and boil the macaroni. Since you’re going to be baking this dish, you can shave off a minute from the boiling time recommended on the package.

4. In the meantime, for the roux, heat the milk in a saucepan to almost boiling. Remove from heat for later. Melt butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Add flour and whisk continuously. Sautée flour for 3 minutes. Don’t let it brown or it will get bitter. Add the warm milk in a steady stream and whisk continuously. Simmer gently (no boiling!) until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add shredded cheese in small batches, incorporating each batch completely. Season with salt. Add broccoli and cauliflower and stir until well combined. At this stage, you have a kind of broccoli-cheddar cream soup. You could use this sauce for lots of different things. I put it over a baked potato and it was awesome.

5. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl.

6. To assemble, pour macaroni into a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I used this small Le Creuset dish. Stir in the sauce, coating all of the macaroni completley. Top with the buttered bread crumbs. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until bubbly. If topping is not already browned, you can put it under the broiler for a minute at the end.

Le Creuset. Available at Amazon

Le Creuset. Available at Amazon

Want to see a bunch more macaroni and cheese ideas? Check out this video collection at StreamingGourmet.com:

Looking for more broccoli recipes? Check out ComfyCook’s collection of Broccoli recipes collected from BSI participants around the blogosphere.

Healthiest Traditional Lasagna Ever

Turkey Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles

Turkey Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles

It’s moving day for friends of mine and since they have four children aged 8 and under, I thought it would be nice to bring them dinner at the end of this stressful day. For a family of six plus a grandmother and an au pair, I knew that it would impossible to cook too much, so I decided to make a giant lasagna (and salad and bread). Raquel is health conscious and her children happily eat vegetables, so I decided to pull all of the health levers I could with this recipe: whole wheat pasta, lots of spinach, low-fat cheeses and of course, 99% fat free ground turkey. I made an extra one for my family and I can tell you, it tastes great. Even my picky 4-year old said, “Mommy. I like it.”

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The Perfect Ragù alla Bolognese

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

Usually for this blog, I document my attempts to make recipes I’ve never tried with ingredients that are new to me. I must confess that I have been working on perfecting a Bolognese sauce for years. I think I’ve finally got it.

This Bolognese sauce has a secret ingredient that you won’t find in most Bolognese sauces. But we’ll get to that later.

First a little background.

For a long time, I was dissatisfied with the results of my Bolognese attempts. The sauces always seemed relatively tasteless and never thick enough. My normal approach was to brown onions and ground beef, add dried herbs (like oregano and such), add a jar of prepared sauce (like Classico) and let it simmer for a long time. I thought that the longer it simmered, the tastier it would be, and that was a little bit true, but not all that much. I tried adding garlic and then adding more and more garlic, to give it flavor. It worked a little, but it seemed that the garlic flavor just disappeared. I tried adding red wine. That worked a little too. I tried adding lots of olive oil once. Again, it enhanced the flavor a bit, but it came at a cost and didn’t give the dramatic flavor I was after.

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