Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Roasted Pumpkin alla Fusilli

Stop! Don't throw that pumpkin away yet! The 99 Cent Chef has a delicious way to use the parts without melted candle wax -- a vegetarian delight of roasted pumpkin with fusilli (pasta). Roasted and scraped from the skin, the pumpkin's soft flesh is sweeter baked than boiled, and the color is a richer orange, too. Baked pumpkin is drier, so the pasta sauce will be chunkier, like mashed potatoes, and wedge itself in the coils of fusilli. This is a tasty and intense pasta sauce needing only a few more ingredients.

Stir roasted pumpkin into sauteed onion and garlic, then make it all sweeter with 99 cent white wine. Yes, white wine is back at 99c only Stores, and of the Italian variety! I tweeted about it two days ago. The drought is over! White wine is generally too sweet for this chef's palate, but the Fattoria il Palagio chardonnay is dry, just the way I like it - I bought a case and a half. The other Italian wine is Terre Palladiane, a pinot grigio, and it's sweeter, so I added a cup of it to the pumpkin sauce. Call your local 99c only Store first to see if there's any left; these Italian wines are worth every penny and I'm sure it will fly off the shelf.

The 99 Cent Chef would like to thank Mario Batali for the basic recipe concept; however, I think I improved it considerably with roasting and the addition of white wine. I also left out hot red chile flakes.

Of course, you can use acorn or butternut squash -- hey, try any type unique to your area, and tell the Chef how it works out. My recipe below serves four; if you used canned squash for a smaller serving, just cut other ingredients in half.

 
Ingredients (serves 3-4)
  • 4 cups of roasted pumpkin (butternut or acorn squash, or from the can).
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic - fresh or from jar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil for roasting
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil for sauteed onion and garlic
  • 1 cup of 99 cent white wine - ok to substitue with any stock or pasta water
  • 1 package of fusilla pasta - you can use any type of pasta you have, even speghetti.
  • 1/4 cup of 99 cent dried cheese blend or any parmesan you have on hand, to finish dish.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions
Break apart pumpkin, remove seeds and stringy membrane. Lay out cleaned pieces on a couple of flat cookie-type pans. Drizzle olive over both sides of pumpkin, salt and pepper, and turn all pieces flesh-side down with outer skin showing. This will keep the flesh from totally drying out. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour -- for thin skinned squash check after 45 minutes, it may be cooked enough. Remove from oven and allow to cool down.

In a large bowl, spoon out the roasted flesh from the skin. Due to roasting, the flesh will brown and even blacken. Remove the most blackened bits but keep the rest; it adds color and contrast to pasta sauce. Go ahead and taste how sweet the pumpkin is. You can serve it just like this, with a little butter of course, or puree with stock and cream for a soup. OK to freeze any you do not use.

Boil water for pasta and follow cooking directions. I reduce time for al dente pasta.

In a large pan, saute chopped onion and garlic in 1 tbsp. of oil for 5 minutes until soft. Add 4 cups of roasted pumpkin (or canned) and pour in 1 cup of white wine, broth or pasta water. Mix well, but leave pumpkin chunky. Heat through for about 5 minutes more until hot. Mix in cooked pasta and dried cheese blend or parmesan.


2 comments:

Alexa said...

I love anything pumpkin so I am very excited to try this recipe. Thank you!

Beth said...

Thanks for sharing the Fattoria il Palagio review. Like to try it with Pasta. Will surely enjoy it. colonialgifts.co.uk

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