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


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts and experience!