Monday, October 14, 2013

Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin & Goat Cheese

Rigatoni with Roasted Pumpkin & Goat Cheese
Every week, I place an order for fresh, local fruits & veggies from an amazing farmer's market-like delivery service in my area called The Produce Box.  This past week, I ordered a pie pumpkin--it's a smaller, more dense pumpkin meant for eating rather than carving into a Jack-O'-Lantern.  My parents were visiting for the weekend, and I really wanted to use the pumpkin for a special meal while they were here, so last night, I made this delicious pasta dish from Martha Stewart.

The pumpkin has to be cut up into 2-inch pieces for this recipe, and really, this is the hardest part of the whole recipe.  Since pie pumpkins are much more dense than decorative pumpkins, they can be a bit tricky to cut and peel.  I laid my cutting board on a damp kitchen towel so it wouldn't slide around on the counter.  Then laid the pumpkin on its side and cut the bottom and top parts off so the pumpkin could sit flat on my cutting board.  I used a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to remove the skin of the pumpkin, going over spots a few times where the skin was extra thick.  I then cut the pumpkin in half, removed the seeds, and cut the pumpkin into 2-inch chunks.

The rest of this recipe is super easy--the pumpkin is divided onto 2 baking sheets with fresh sage, shallots & olive oil, and roasted at 450ยบ for 30 minutes, tossing and rotating the sheets after 15 minutes.  While the pumpkin is roasting, cook the pasta reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Drain, return the pasta to the pot, toss with 2 tbsp butter, 5 oz goat cheese, and the reserved pasta water.  Fold in the roasted pumpkin and serve. 

The finished dish looks beautiful.  The flavors are perfect for Fall with the roasted pumpkin and fresh sage, and the butter and goat cheese sauce is nice and light, allowing the pumpkin to really shine.  I've made this in the past using butternut squash instead of the pumpkin, and it's just as pretty & delicious. 

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