A Squared: Using Up Leftovers: Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce & Hazelnuts

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Using Up Leftovers: Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce & Hazelnuts

So, I have been on this pre-spring cleaning, organizing, and purging kick lately and it has extended beyond my closets-- I've moved on to the kitchen.  I have so many straggler ingredients in my kitchen that were leftover from other recipes that I've tried.  Not wanting to throw anything away but wanting to clear out some space, I made a conscious effort this week to make creative meals using those ingredients.

I consulted my freezer first: I had a little bit of pumpkin puree leftover from the last time I baked pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  I found a half bag of hazelnuts in the freezer too.  In the fridge I found half empty containers of crumbled goat cheese, Greek yogurt, and ricotta (for a zucchini ricotta pizza I plan on making this weekend) in addition to half an onion and some red bell pepper strips.  And you know I have tons of pasta to use, so from there a recipe was born!

The creamy pumpkin sauce with a hint of sage and nutmeg along with toasted hazelnuts is such a great combination of flavors for chilly rainy/snowy days like we have had here lately.  With the addition of the peppers and the veggie pasta it also makes for a relatively healthy and balanced dish too.  I would like to apologize for the ugly photo-- I didn't think about how green pasta would look coated in an orange sauce until it was too late... it looked a bit vomit-esque. Trust me though, it tasted delicious!

  • 3 cups short cut pasta, uncooked *I used the Barilla Veggie Rotini I had on hand
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup yellow onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta
  • 1/4 nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. dry sage
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and rough chopped
  • Crumbled goat cheese, for serving

Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water according to package directions until al dente.

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree, ricotta, yogurt, and sage. Gently mix together until creamy and combined. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Combine the cooked pasta and sauce and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and goat cheese.

Inspired by original recipe courtesy of Soni's Food.

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