Friday, November 16, 2007

Yay Pumpkin! Vote for me!

Ah look at those delicious curlicues of pasta coated with creamy pumpkin sauce. So tender. So yummy. But first, a shameless plea for votes, and a teeny rant.

OK, so you remember the super delicious Thanksgiving Ice Cream Terrine? How the flavors meld so deliciously into a medley of fall ice cream flavors? Well, the roundup is up at Running With Tweezers. She's got eleven terrines there. I think they all look pretty spectacular, but there's a prize involved and I'm a sucker for a prize. So I urge you to go there and vote for me! (I'll never go into politics, so this is the only place I'm going to tell people to vote for me. It's a little weird.)

Now on to my teeny rant. I am no longer able to buy ground lamb here. I could buy it last week. But now my local grocery tells me if I want ground lamb I have to buy an entire shoulder and then they'll grind it all and sell it to me. That's a load of hooey. (Meijer doesn't have it either here.) So I called one of the local custom butchers around town and they told me they didn't know where I could buy ground lamb by the pound. They said they would sell me a half a lamb if I found someone else to buy the other half. But I don't have a deep freezer. Shoot. And I seriously don't know anyone out here who wants half a lamb. Where are the Jewish people out here? Or the Hindus? Middle Easterners? Anyone who eats lamb? Well if they're here I don't think they're buying lamb either. How annoying. Maybe next year I'll buy one at the county fair and have it butchered. Or maybe I'll try to convince the Brain's parents to raise one on their property. OK I'm done with my rant

Now the delicious pasta. This was not my original plan for dinner. Originally I had planned a ground lamb and peas Indian dish. But because of the problem with the grocer, I was suddenly planless. I hate being planless. Let's just say I don't function so well planless. SO with no meat thawed and already posting about spaghetti this week I had to scramble for something else to cook. Stoopid Nablopomo. So I took a look around my pantry and cupboards and realized I had some heavy cream, a can of pumpkin, an onion, and fresh sage. My sage plant that I repotted is not looking like it's going to pull through, so harvesting sage is a good idea right now. As an update, the parsley plant however seems to be hanging in there, and the rosemary is smelling up the living room in a good way.

But I digress, in actuality I'm a food hoarder, so I have ridiculous amounts of things like dried beans and canned beans and pasta and tomato sauce and pickles and canned tomatoes, but it sounds better if I say oh look I just happened to only have exactly the ingredients I need on hand! Anyway, this pasta is pretty delicious and creamy.

Creamy Cavatappi, Sausage and Pumpkin

adapted from Pumpkin: A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year

1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage

1 medium onion thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Cavatappi
grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top

1) Cook the sausage over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until it is no longer pink and the remove from the pan.

2) Saute the onions in the fat left from the sausage for 3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the onion and garlic are soft and beginning to brown.

3) Add the bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Do not cover. Simmer and stir to scrape up the browned bits until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

4) Whisk in the broth and pumpkin and bring to a low boil while stirring. Stir in the cream, add the sausage, and cook over low heat for several minutes. Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasonings, if necessary.

5) Meanwhile cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and add the pasta to the skillet. Toss the sauce and pasta together while cooking over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

OK so I adapted some things here. It is probably better for your heart if you follow the way the recipe originally is written and brown the sausage in olive oil then wipe out the pan after removing the sausage and saute the onion and garlic in more olive oil. But really c'mon people. Does this look like a low calorie, heart smart meal? Puh Lease. This is as fattening as I cook. But like I said in the heretofore mentioned rant, I went with what was in the cupboards.


gretel said...

Ok. This looks AMAZING. Going to have to do this this week. My husband likes that you post good new recipes for me to try. He's still talking about the lamb pot pie.

Zylo said...

Is the Cavatappi that pasta? This looks so good and I was slightly amazed at using pumpkin like this. I love being surprised by a foods versatility. And I agree with your food hoarder ways. When I cook, I like the only things I have to buy to be fresh and even then...

Mary said...

Gretel- yeah it's pretty good.

Zylo- yeah cavatappi is that curlycue pasta. At least that's what it said on the box...