Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin: Fall's festive favorite! My 2 favorite recipes to make with pumpkin.

I love this time of year, pumpkins are indicative of the holiday season approaching. The bright orange color screams antioxidants and the fleshy innards are full of gooey fibrous vitamin filled fun. This time of year you will see pumpkin flavored cookies, muffins, coffee, teas and even IPA beers! But if you are afraid of tackling the traditional pumpkin, reconsider this year and try these easy ideas to incorporate the bountiful gourd into your holiday, unrefined, cooking.

Roast the pumpkin whole (yes, that is right, don't cut it open on the top) just preheat the oven to 350 degrees, pierce the pumpkin in a few places with slits and roast for 1 hour. Let the pumpkin cool, cut it open and scoop out the seeds and strings out. Soak the scooped innards in cold water. You want to keep the seeds and roast them later. Cut open the remainder of the pumpkin and scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin. This part can be used to make pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and mixed into any baked goods.

There are 2 favorite recipes that I love to make with pumpkin: Spicy pumpkin penne pasta and Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Here are the recipes.

Penne Pumpkin Pasta

1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 cups vegetable broth
1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin pure
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce or red pepper flakes
1 tsp nutmeg
Parmesan cheese

From store to table:
Boil salted water in a large pot.Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened. Stir in the vegetable broth, pumpkin, cream, hot sauce or pepper flakes and nutmeg. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Add the uncooked pasta to the boiling water. Drain pasta. Toss the pasta sauce with the cooked pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4. 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups dark chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper. Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Slowly beat in the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookies off with a spatula and cool on wire racks. 

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