Friday, September 25, 2015

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Fall is here, and so that means we will be eating LOTS of pumpkin in my house for the next several weeks. My first post of the Fall season is a vegetarian pasta dish with a creamy pumpkin sauce, fresh sage, and melted cheese. My mom sent me the recipe and brought over fresh sage from her garden the other day, so I made the pasta and served it to everyone for lunch. It was really good! I have not cooked much with sage before, and after cooking this dish, I would like to try more recipes with it. This pumpkin sage pasta is easy to prepare, and it is a very satisfying meal. If you are not worried about making it vegetarian, you can top it with cooked bacon or a mild crumbled sausage instead of the crispy sage. I loved the crispy sage on top of it, but Greg really liked having bacon on his! Now that I have cooked my first pumpkin dish of the season, I am thinking about what my first pumpkin dessert of the season will be, and a pumpkin cheesecake keeps popping into my head. That will probably be my next post! I hope you like this recipe, and I hope you are enjoying the Fall weather where you live as much as I am loving it here in Maryland.

Recipe for Pumpkin Sage Pasta

12 ounces of pasta (good choices would be farfalle, penne, ziti)
3 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of canned pumpkin 
A couple pinches of nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup of chopped fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/4 cups of sharp white cheddar cheese
For the crispy sage topping
1 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil 
1/3 cup of fresh sage leaves, sliced thin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an oven-safe dish (9x13, 2" deep). 
Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente, then drain in a colander.
While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Put the butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add in the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes. Add the flour to the pan and stir until the flour is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Then slowly pour in the milk and use a whisk to mix. When milk is mixed in and mixture is smooth, add in the pumpkin and continue to whisk. Cook until the sauce is thickened, about 5 - 7 minutes. Then remove from heat and add in the nutmeg, salt, pepper, fresh sage, and  1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir in the pasta and coat it with the sauce. Spread the pasta into the prepared pan. Top evenly with the sharp white cheddar cheese and the remaining Parmesan. Cover the top of the dish with foil and place in the oven to cook. Cook for 15 minutes. A few minutes before the pasta is finished cooking, make the crispy sage topping, if using. Heat a small saucepan on medium high heat. Once hot, add in the olive oil and let it coat the pan. Add in the sage leaves and cook until crispy but not burnt, 2 - 3 minutes. Remove the pasta from the oven and sprinkle the crispy sage over it, or you can sprinkle it over each individual serving. 

You can also top the pasta with cooked bacon pieces or a mild crumbled sausage if you don't care about it not being a vegetarian meal!

Recipe Makes approximately 8 servings
Recipe Adapted from: Oh My Veggies