This super creamy pasta with pumpkin and goat cheese is my newest favorite recipe and will become one of yours too!
How do you normally cook pasta? By bringing a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil, waiting until the water re-boils after plunging the pasta in and then watching over it so the foam doesn’t run down the side of the pot? Then you need to drain the pasta and toss it in a sauce hoping to catch every strand of pasta. Wouldn’t it be nice to create a pasta dish that is full of flavor right from the beginning of the cooking method? Well the good news is, you can!!!!
I use a special cooking technique to create my creamy flavor induced pumpkin pasta. You may be familiar with risotto? I bet you didn’t know that pasta can be cooked exactly the same way and it never gets waterlogged or flat on flavor! Just like risotto, toasting the pasta before adding the liquid creates a nuttiness to the dish that you would not get by cooking pasta the traditional way. Another benefit to this method is that the pasta starts out absorbing the flavors of the pancetta and onion, butter and oil.
Slowly adding the liquids allows the pasta to drink up the wine and the stock thereby retaining it’s starch and creating a creamy texture. This step is considered the “creaming” process
The approach of adding the stock one ladle at a time also allows you to control when the pasta is done to your liking. It is at this point that you can then add meat, vegetables or cheese. In this case I was looking for an autumn dish so I added pumpkin puree and goat cheese, but you can go the traditional route and add your favorite tomato sauce!
The Method of My Super Creamy Pasta with Pumpkin
- chicken stock
- white wine
- pure pumpkin
- goat cheese
- garnish: toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds
The first step is to heat the stock until warm. Melt butter and oil in a braiser then add the pancetta. Cook until brown and crispy. Next add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the spaghetti and toast until slightly browned.
Deglaze the pan with wine scraping up any browned bits. Slowly add a few ladles of stock and stir pasta. Once the stock is almost absorbed, keep repeating the process until the pasta is thoroughly cooked. This step is important! Do NOt add all the stock at once. It must be done slowly. When the liquids are all absorbed, add the pumpkin and goat cheese stirring to combine.
Serve in large bowls topped with toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
This can be made into a vegetarian version by replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock and the pancetta with vegan sausage!
Serve with my Harvest Pear and Candied Walnut Salad or my Kale and Apple Salad and warm crusty bread with honey butter
If you make this Pumpkin Pasta and love it, I would love for you to come back and give it 5 stars!
Super Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
This pumpkin pasta is creamy and comforting with a nice crunch from toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds!
- 4 cups chicken stock (plus 2 cups water if needed)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounce pack of cubed pancetta
- 1/2 medium Vidalia onion (chopped to the same size as pancetta)
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 pound thin spaghetti
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 2 ounces plain goat cheese
- 1/2 to 1 cup walnuts (large chop)
- 1/4 shelled pumpkin seeds
- 1. Heat stock in a separate pan.
- 2. To a wide heavy pan, that is at least 3 inches deep, add oil and butter. Add pancetta to brown. Then add in the onion and cook until translucent.
- 3. Add the spaghetti and toast until slightly browned.
- 4. Season with a pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- 5. Deglaze the pan with the wine.
- 6. Add a few ladles of stock and stir pasta. Once the stock has almost absorbed completely, repeat the process until all the liquid is gone and pasta is cooked through. If you need more liquid than the 4 cups of stock, you can use the additional 2 cups of water.
- 7. Stir in the pumpkin and combine.
- 8. Stir in the goat cheese and combine thoroughly.
- 9. Meanwhile, add your walnuts to a dry skillet and toast until slightly browned. This will help to release the oils of the nut.
- 10. Serve up the pasta in bowls and add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds to the top. If you are presenting this as a tabletop dish in the cooking pan, you can sprinkle the nuts and seeds right over the top before serving.
Serve with a side salad and some warm bread. I made a honey butter for my bread,
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