Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Today’s Music (this was a favorite for late-night paper writing in college)

I’m proud to say that this post was requested by someone looking for a new way to use pumpkins.  Pumpkins are a veritable Autumnal installation, but they’re not just for pies and pissing off your neighbors while they degrade into a puddle on your front porch.  These gourds are loaded with beta-carotine (which your body converts to Vitamin A), and can be used in savory dishes, as well as desserts.

Why pumpkin sauce?  Excellent question!  Large batches of pasta primavera is one of the staples of my diet; it’s easy to make and store, it’s a great way to get vegetables into your diet, and if you use whole wheat pasta (and make sure to add variety to your diet) it’s a fairly healthy option.  I try to stay away from jarred tomato sauces when I can, and now that Barilla is off of my menu for now, I like alternatives (and shove the free market arguments, the president of the Barilla company is a douche and should be called on his comments).  Now that tomatoes are out of season, and because I have not yet learned how to can, pumpkin sauce works in a pinch.  Here’s roughly the recipe I used; you will need:

  • 1 small pumpkin (not the miniatures, a small large pumpkin…yeah…)
  • About a third of a cup of unsweetened almond milk (you can sub this with vegetable broth or dairy milk, if you would prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (you could probably use whole garlic here, I would only recommend roasting it so it purees better)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut off the stem of the pumpkin but do not pierce the skin.  Roast it whole for about 40 minutes, or until it becomes soft; the skin should depress at your touch.  Remove the pumpkin form the oven and let it cool briefly.  Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds (save them for roasting!) and remove the skin.  Add the pumpkin flesh to a blender with the almond milk and seasonings, and process until it has reached a smooth consistency.

Add to pasta or store immediately.

I sprung this recipe on some friends without telling them what was in it, and it was well-received.  The texture of the sauce compliments the pasta and vegetables well, and I thought it had a unique, mildly cheesy flavor that mixed will with the garlic.  Try it and tell me what you think.  What would you add?