Fall is pumpkin season. Like many others, I love fall and I also love all the wonderful things I can do with pumpkin. I always look forward to this time of year, for both reasons. If I had my way, I would cook something with pumpkin almost every day during this wonderful season, but Larry puts the kabash on that idea, although he does let me cook with a lot of pumpkin. It is such a versatile vegetable; there are so many different ways to cook it and use it. And my only response is … YUM!
Not only do I love pumpkin, but pasta is probably one of my favorite dishes as well. Again, it is so versatile. The possibilities are endless. So, I combined my love for both of these items and made a very tasty, very healthy pasta dish with loads of vegetables, chicken, shrimp and a pumpkin sauce. Delicious!
I loaded this dish with tons of vegetables, of which the pumpkin is one, and shrimp. I had a little leftover chicken that I added as well, to give it just a little bit more umph. As you can see, I put just about everything in there, although my kitchen sink is still in tact. You can make this meal purely vegetarian or if you are a carnivore like I am, it is good with either chicken, shrimp, sausage, or a combination of any of these. I am still working on finishing up the last of my HUGE zucchini too, and can you believe, there is still some left. It’s just not going away. 🙂 They’ll Never Know It’s In There
Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce
1 lb cooked pasta of your choice – I used angel hair pasta
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
1 TBSP garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 zucchini, cut into matchstick sized pieces
1 large tomato, or in this case, 1/2 of 1 VERY large heirloom tomato, diced large
1/2 cup green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup champagne, or other light vinegar
1 15 oz can of pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 cups half & half
1/2 cup Parmagiano cheese
1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 cups protein choice – either sausage, chicken, or shrimp, or a combination
Mix all the heartier vegetables together and set aside. Then mix the pumpkin, champagne vinegar, 1/2 & 1/2, cheese and seasonings together and set aside.
Saute the vegetables in olive oil until they are tender, then remove them from the skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, cook the shrimp for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are completely pink and are done.
Once the shrimp is cooked, add the vegetables and the sauce and mix everything together well. Since my chicken was already cooked, I added it at this time too. Cook the sauce for about 5-7 minutes, then add the tomatoes and mix in right before serving so they do not break down.
Once everything is cooked, add the sauce to the cooked pasta and top with more Parmigiano cheese, if desired, green onions and parsley. To make the meal complete, I served it with warmed sourdough bread with an olive oil and balsamic dipping sauce and a crisp and light chardonnay. This colorful treat makes for a perfect and healthy fall meal.