Inspired by the work of Utah State University Extension and their Create Better Health series of recipes, specifically their Create a Skillet Meal handout, this create-your-own Creamy Pumpkin Pasta is a good choice for a few reasons:
- It’s fast and easy
- The pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A
- It’s adult – and child – approved!
- It’s easy to adapt this basic recipe to meet your family’s needs and preferences:
- Choose low-sodium broth
- Add your own protein – from cooked chicken to a vegetarian version with Cannellini beans
- Choose your favorite seasonings
Basic Recipe for One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
Approximately 4 servings
Pasta – 8 oz pasta (linguine, penne or egg noodles)
Broth – 4 cups (can choose low-sodium, vegetarian, etc.)
Canned Pumpkin – 2 cups (1 – 15-oz can pumpkin)
Cheese – 4 oz (cream cheese, goat cheese or mascarpone)
Pepper – ¼ teaspoon
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg OR 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
• 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Decide on optional ingredients:
• Optional (to cook in the one-pot recipe): ½ medium onion (about 1 cup) and 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic, salt to taste
• Optional: (to add to the pot towards the end) a large handful of fresh chopped greens such as spinach, arugula, swiss chard to cook or wilt towards the end
• Optional (to garnish): fresh parsley, parmesan cheese
1. Choose your favorite one-pot cooking method: either a large, heavy pot on the stovetop or a medium to large size electric skillet with a glass lid.
2. Add pasta, broth, pumpkin, pepper, and dry seasonings to the pot. (if choosing to use onions and or garlic, add this also).
3. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook. Stir frequently, until the liquid is almost completely evaporated (approximately 10 minutes). The pasta should be tender and the sauce will start to thicken.
4. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese until it is melted and combined. If using fresh chopped greens or fresh rosemary, add it at this point. Let sit a few minutes for the sauce to thicken.
5. Serve with (optional) garnishes like fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.