No Such Thing as Too Much Pumpkin…or Goat Cheese
Even though Thanksgiving feels like it was ages ago by this point, I”m still in the process of using up all the leftovers. Evidently I”m not alone; my ES sistas have been working through the same issue by creating their delicious Pumpkin Stuffed Shells and Turkey Parmesan recipes.
Anyway, I ended up with a lot of leftover canned pumpkin, which was great for me because I happen to loooove pumpkin in both sweet and savory dishes. Still riding my fried sage leaves craze, I dreamed up this savory and secretly quite healthy pasta dish, which combines spiced, roasted cauliflower, chicken breast chunks, and gobetti pasta as a base. That combo is then smothered in a creamy goat cheese pumpkin sauce, then topped with paprika, roasted pumpkin seeds, fried sage leaves, and yet more goat cheese. This pasta was a good way to use up leftover pumpkin, but stands on its own; you don”t need leftovers as an excuse to whip this up for dinner!
Roasted Cauliflower-Pumpkin Pasta with Goat Cheese, Pepitas, and Sage
10oz freshly cooked pasta; I like shells or tubes because they hold more sauce. In this recipe I used gobetti (my girl to be specific, ha ha).
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 15oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2c chicken broth
1/4c lowfat milk
1 4oz log goat cheese
1/2c roasted pepitas/pumpkin seeds
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper
fresh sage leaves
Preheat your oven to 400°. While it”s heating up, toss your cauliflower chunks in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake it for about 30-40 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Let it cool while you take care of the sauce.
Put a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the chicken broth, milk, and pumpkin; stir together. Once the sauce is heated up, add 3/4 of the goat cheese log and mix until it all melts in. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more milk and/or broth. Stir in all the spices, and add salt and pepper to taste. If you want it a little spicier, feel free to add a bit more cayenne, too. Turn the sauce down to low and keep it warm while you fry the sage leaves.
Cover the bottom of a small skillet in olive oil or butter and turn up the heat to medium-high. Once it”s sizzling hot, drop in the sage leaves and let them fry until they”re crispy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and let them drain on a paper towel.
Toss together pasta, chicken breast, and cauliflower. Douse that mixture in a generous portion of pumpkin sauce, and garnish with an extra sprinkle of paprika, a handful of roasted pepitas, crumbles of the remaining goat cheese, and a couple sage leaves.