Even though pumpkin beer has made its way off the shelves already this season, I refuse to accept that pumpkin season is over. So, I’ve continued to scour the internet for anything and everything pumpkin. This particular recipe comes from HangryPants, by way of And Her Little Dog Too. I know that Heather over at HangryPants loves pumpkin just as much as my fiancé and I do based on the number of recipes she’s posted in the past few months, but I didn’t actually come across this particular one until Leslie of And Her Little Dog Too made it and posted about it. As soon as I saw it, per the usual I fired it off via e-mail (I love the e-mail feature in Google Reader) to my fiancé and he responded with the typical “MAKE.”
After last week’s meat fest, it felt good to stick to non-meat meals for this week. Since we really haven’t been eating much meat these days, last week was like an overload for me. I’m certainly not complaining since I made up the week’s menu and everything was delicious, but it’s amazing how different you feel when you include or exclude things in your diet. That’s neither here nor there, though!
Since it was a pasta dish, it was a perfect dose of carbs for Thursday morning’s pre-work 6 miler. When my alarm goes off at 5:30am I really question my sanity. I question it even more when my head starts to bobble at my desk around 2pm. I decided to start Thursday off post-run with a Green Monster, which I haven’t had in quite awhile. I think I need to get myself some fresh spinach though, because the frozen stuff doesn’t really break down that well. I tried to make a pumpkin pie version with the leftover canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, plain Greek yogurt, and a splash of Almond Breeze (full-on vanilla flavor, of course). It wasn’t bad! I need to stock up on the more typical Green Monster ingredients though so I can experiment.
But yes, the pumpkin penne. YUM. I don’t have garlic gold (sounds fancy, though) so I stuck with regular garlic powder, and I didn’t know what I was missing. It was super creamy which was awesome, and there was a bit of a pumpkin pie flavor, unlike the pumpkin mac ‘n cheese I made a few weeks ago. My fiancé and I did make the mistake of putting two drops of MadDog 375 sauce, which is one of the hot sauces we got last week, on our plates. This sauce is 600,000 Scoville units. A jalapeño is 2,500 – 8,000. So yes, this was A LOT of burn. They aren’t kidding when they tell you to only use a drop in an entire meal, or to water it down. My entire mouth and lips were burning in a way that I could only imagine the next closest thing would be to light them on fire. I doused my lips and mouth in milk for a solid 5 minutes, and had to dump out what was on plate and get a new serving. I learned my lesson, I promise.
So before all the pure pumpkin disappears from the shelves at the grocery store, make this!
– Serves 4 –
1/2 box whole wheat pasta (*save 1/4 cup of pasta water)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare pasta according to directions, slightly undercooking (it will finish cooking once all mixed)
3. At the same time, sauté chopped onion in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
4. Combine mozzarella, pumpkin, ricotta, followed by spices in a large bowl.
5. Add sauteed onions to cheese mixture and 1/4 cup water from the pasta to thicken, then add pasta.
6. Spread pasta mixture in a greased casserole dish, and top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.