Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Autumn Meatless Meal: Creamy Pumpkin Penne

I have several friends in my life who inspire me with the understanding that health and fitness are not to be a temporary fix, but a way of life. So during this season of thanks, I offer up gratitude and thanks to Lori, Amy and Kyndra. Several among them have incorporated this type of Monday menu for their household meals as a way of going meatless one day a week. These ladies have each been inspirations to me along the way and tonight for dinner, I have incorporated Meatless Monday into our dinner menu using a favorite of the season for a creamy pumpkin penne dish.

                              "Creamy Pumpkin Penne"

Serves 4

1 (12 oz.) package penne rigate pasta 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin, pureed OR 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree 
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar 
  • Optional garnish: chopped oregano 
In pasta-size cooking pot, add water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring salted water to a boil and add pasta, cooking pasta according to directions on package. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water; drain pasta and set aside. In same pasta pot, add olive oil and oregano. Cook on medium heat for 1 minute. Carefully watching pot to avoid hot oil spattering, add pumpkin puree, minced garlic, half-and-half, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese,  vinegar and 1 cup reserved pasta water to pot. Stir until well-blended and heated on medium heat for through 2- 3 minutes, stirring after each minute.  If sauce is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of remaining reserved pasta water until sauce reaches desired consistency. When ready to serve pasta in individual dishes, pour 1/2 cup of sauce over pasta. Garnish each before serving by sprinkling, if desired, with 1/2 teaspoon of oregano. Enjoy!