RECIPE: Pumpkin Arugula and Sage Pasta

This past fall, we had some small "pie-sized" pumpkins to make fresh pumpkin puree for pies. But time flew and we didn't have time to puree the pumpkins OR make the pie (you know how crazy back to school can be!?). So before the pumpkins began to rot, we simply roasted the pumpkin flesh with light olive oil in the oven, then peeled the skin off. We cut them up in quarters and stored the pumpkin flesh in the freezer.

Fast forward to spring, and when our budget was tight for groceries last week, I decided to defrost some of the pumpkin for an easy pasta dinner! Once defrosted I pureed it in the food processor until smooth. You can drain off some of the water if there is any, or cook some of the water out of it if you want it thicker-like canned pumpkin. I didn't have a lot of moisture in mine, so I used the puree straight and it was lighter and fresher than canned. You can use canned in this recipe if you wish, it will look darker than what's in the picture above, and probably a more intense pumpkin flavor.

The pasta has a great balance of fresh, bitter greens and a creamy nutty flavor. It's was a cheap, quick dinner on a busy Saturday.

Pumpkin Arugula and Sage Pasta


1/2 lb. whole wheat linguine, cooked according to package directions and drained
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can (15-16 oz)  pumpkin puree, or fresh roasted pumpkin, processed until smooth
1/3 cup fat-free half and half
2 oz. grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups fresh baby arugula
Black pepper to taste

Keep your cooked pasta warm. 

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the sage leaves and saute. Add the salt and the puree. Mix and cook the puree with the vegetables on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes. 
Add the chicken broth and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes. Add the half and half as well as the cheese. Mix and add the red pepper flakes and black pepper. 
At this point, heat the pasta in the sauce. Rip the arugula with your hands and add to the pasta. Toss until just wilted. Adjust seasonings, and serve warm with extra grated cheese on top.



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