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.