While I normally think of sweet dishes using pumpkin I cannot lie. This savory Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts is my favorite of all.
I admit; in some ways I fail miserably as a food blogger. If our job is to anticipate trends and provide recipe suggestions months in advance to provide pre-planning for our readers; I’m probably not your girl. I could not get into pumpkin in August and you might have thought I hated it but I seriously just had a light bulb moment.
I don’t hate it but I simply can not imagine making pumpkin dishes or eating them in August so that I can jump the gun with recipes. I am far too tied to a rhythm that is influenced by the seasonal calendar and operating any differently might have me thinking that I am inhabited with spirits.
Now that the real season is upon us, I’m going nuts. I have roasted at least 4 pumpkins so far and have four more on the counter. I’ve made a lot of homemade pumpkin butter, mostly because I keep giving jars away to friends and neighbors; it is SO amazing. I’ve made this pumpkin honey butter and hope to get a loaf of pumpkin bread made this weekend.
Pies will happen once November hits but for today, for our October Progressive Eats event, Jeanette from the blog Jeanette’s Healthy Living chose Pumpkin as the theme. Our group did both sweet and savory dishes so be sure to check out the choices after the recipe for something new. This is such a talented group of people who truly love food; I don’t think you can go wrong.
I went the savory route which is a bit unusual for me but am so glad I did. Pumpkin is a popular filler for pasta this time of year but instead of making my own pasta, I decided to make a pasta sauce incorporating the flavors of pumpkin, mascarpone cheese, sage, and onion with chives and toasted walnuts for garnish.
This Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts is absolutely divine. It was everything I had hoped for; definitely pumpkin based but the flavor was mellowed beautifully by the mascarpone cheese. It could easily serve six as a side dish but it’s a nice main course vegetarian dish is you are ever inclined to go that route. Me? I’m not a vegetarian but I sure have plenty of meals without meat and this one was so satisfying.
I was so grateful that my neighbor Amy had a sage plant and am now very mindful that I need to plant one in the spring; I may not use it much during the rest of the year but fresh sage is something I love in fall inspired dishes. I have this theory too as to why sage is so popular in the fall. It is the ONLY perennial herb plant that is not yet dead as the weather turns colder. I could always go into the garden for Thanksgiving dishes and find some sage; now I’ll have to do that with Amy’s garden. We share her dog, why not her sage?
Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts
- 1 pound Farfelle pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
- 15 oz of pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (sub cream cheese if necessary)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the Garnish
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and rough chopped
- 1/4 cup snipped chives
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water. Put the pasta in a bowl and mix with just enough olive oil to keep it from sticking.
- In the same pot, melt the butter and heat on medium until it starts to turn a golden brown.
- Immediately add the onion, garlic and sage and cook over moderately low heat until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes.
- Put the onion mixture and pumpkin puree into a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Return the puree to the pot and cook over medium low heat until hot. Mix in the mascarpone and Parmesan cheese; cook on medium low heat until cheeses are incorporated..
- Add the reserved cooking water and mix in thoroughly. Add the pasta and toss to coat and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the pasta to serving plates or bowls and top with chives, toasted walnuts and additional Parmesan cheese.
The pumpkin sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight. Reheat the sauce before mixing with the pasta cooking water and then mix with the pasta to serve.
Progressive Pumpkin Party
- Pumpkin Cappuccino Soup from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts from Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)
- Kaddu Ka Ambal – Sweet and Tart Pumpkin Curry from Spice Roots
- Roasted Pumpkin Herb Focaccia from Pastry Chef Online
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies from Never Enough Thyme
- Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Gingersnap Crust from All Roads Lead To The Kitchen
- Pumpkin scones from Mother Would Know
- Caramel Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Snack Cake from Miss In The Kitchen
- Skinny Pumpkin Chai Latte from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is all about Pumpkin and is hosted by Jeanette Chen who blogs at Jeanette’s Healthy Living. With Autumn’s arrival, it’s the perfect time to start using fall’s harvest in our menus. We have some great ideas this month to use pumpkins in all sorts of dishes, both Savory and Sweet.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.