Friday, September 20, 2019

Fall for It: Creamy Pumpkin Sauce with Pancetta and Baby Greens

Earlier this month, I was thinking it was too soon to talk about pumpkin or anything #PSL (I'm looking at you, Starbucks). Yet one day, as I held a package of dainty porcini mushroom ravioli, I suddenly found myself craving a creamy pumpkin sauce to go with them. I don't know where this came from - I've never had pasta with a pumpkin sauce before - but I knew I had to make it. Did I know how? No, but that didn't stop me. Did I fall for all that pumpkin advertising? Yep, I sure did!

creamy pumpkin sauce with pancetta and baby greens

Creamy Pumpkin Sauce with Pancetta and Baby Greens
Olive oil
Two garlic cloves, minced
4-5 oz. diced pancetta
Ground nutmeg, to taste (optional)
Fresh or dried rosemary and sage, to taste (optional)
5 oz. baby greens (like spinach, Swiss chard, arugula)
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz. filled pasta (ravioli, tortellini, or other; gnocchi would also work here nicely)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, drizzle in about two Tablespoons of olive oil, and add minced garlic and pancetta. Saute for a few minutes, and add nutmeg and herbs, if using. Continue to saute gently, stirring often, until pancetta is crispy on the edges and has rendered most of its fat (cover pan with lid to help this process along). Add baby greens and cook until wilted, then stir in pumpkin puree and cream cheese. Keep stirring to combine and heat all the way through, then turn off heat.

In a medium pan, cook pasta according to package directions (omitting salt) until just done. Turn heat on low under sauce, then scoop out and add pasta to sauce, adding as much pasta water as needed to thin sauce to desired consistency (I like mine quite thick, but you may want a looser sauce). Stir to combine and remove from heat. Server and enjoy!

Notes: You could certainly substitute sliced mushrooms for the pancetta if you prefer not to have meat; likewise, you could substitute cooked cannellini beans or cooked diced/shredded chicken for the pasta. Butternut or acorn squash puree would also be lovely here instead of pumpkin. The cream cheese works really well, but I bet an herbed goat cheese would be fabulous!

winter squash at the farm market


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

THM Picks: Modern Holiday Classics

Some friends noted that, while my list of classic holiday films was all well and good, I was overlooking quite a few modern classics from my roundup! So to pick up where I left off, here are some modern holiday favorites that need to be on your viewing list this season:

Die Hard (1988) - How awkward could your estranged wife's office holiday party be?!?!?!?!?!

A Christmas Story (1983) - This quirky and endearing look at childhood in the 1940s initially bombed in theaters, but has become a cult classic ever since. Subtle and engaging performances make this film a timeless favorite.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - Clark has worked hard all year, and just wants to give the entire Griswold family the Christmas they deserve! This is Chevy Chase at his best, with the kind of supporting cast you won't find anywhere else.

The Holiday (2006) - A gentle wink and nod to the craft of filmmaking, with an absolutely charming supporting performance by Eli Wallach, this movie shows us that sometimes we need to take a holiday from our comfort zones...and that it's definitely worth the trip!

Love Actually (2003) - An outstanding ensemble cast portrays a delightful array of characters with interconnected story lines, all leading up to the local school's Christmas Eve pageant. Love is found, love is lost, hearts are broken and mended again, and one thing remains clear through it all: love (not to mention Christmas) actually is all around!

love actually dvd cover

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fall in Love: Three Pumpkin Recipes Perfect for Fall

The changing of the seasons is nothing short of magical, and the foods we eat help us mark those transitions. Of course, pumpkin is the name of the game this time of year! As we move into Fall, you'll want to try these recipes in your own home, for the pleasure of making them as well as to share with friends and family. So gather your tribe, set the table, and enjoy the warmth of good food and great company!

Thai pumpkin soup

Thai Pumpkin Soup: Easy, delicious, and a fantastic canvas for a variety of additions, it can be made vegan to accommodate guests of any food persuasion. It also freezes well, so definitely keep some on hand for a quick option at the end of a chilly day.

individual pumpkin custards

Individual Pumpkin Custards: Simple yet luscious, these are a gluten-free/grain-free treat, one that works equally well for breakfast as well as dessert! They're also fantastically easy to transport, and a welcome addition to any dessert table.

pumpkin butter bars

Pumpkin Butter Bars: Is it a bar cookie? A slab pie? Does it matter??? All you need to know is that these are out of this world, and deserve to be made as soon as possible. But be warned, they are just as easy to eat as they are to make!

What's your favorite pumpkin recipe? What do you look forward to making when the weather turns chilly and the leaves start to fall?