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Pumpkin Pasta Perfection

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to welcome nutrition expert and food-lover Rebecca Elbaum to On Our Plate!  

It was October and I was still a bit in denial that summer was over.  As much as I love wearing sweaters and scarves and eating butternut squash soup and apple cake, I found it difficult to put away my sundresses and stop pretending that peaches still taste good this time of year.  Then one chilly Sunday night, I was inspired by a recipe that would mark my official conversion into the Fall mood.

Nothing screams Fall more than pumpkin, and pasta is a staple in my diet all year round.  

A creamy and comforting pumpkin sauce over whole wheat fusilli sounded like an intriguing experiment for the evening.  After perusing my favorite website, Pinterest, for a recipe, I settled on my usual cooking method of taking pieces of a few recipes and then making it up as I go along.  I started by sautéing onions and garlic in a small saucepan.  The star of the show was a can of Fairway Organic Pumpkin, which I added to the onions and garlic.  To thin out the sauce, I poured in some vegetable broth.  Sage and nutmeg gave my pumpkin sauce the delicious Fall aroma and earthy warm flavor so reminiscent of this beautiful time of year.  After simmering the pumpkin sauce for a few minutes, I poured it over cooked whole wheat fusilli and diced roasted eggplant, and topped it all off with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

One bite of this pumpkin pasta immediately transported me from my apartment in the city to a field of red, orange, and yellow Fall leaves.  The sauce was a beautiful burnt orange color, with rich pumpkin flavor and warmth.  The pasta, eggplant, pumpkin medley gave the perfect level of nuttiness and texture, rounded out by savory Parmesan cheese.

Not only is this pasta a delicious Fall treat, it’s also something you can feel good about eating all season long.  Pumpkin is high in eye-strengthening Vitamin A and beta carotene.  Beta carotene is also an important antioxidant for reducing cancer risk and keeping your skin wrinkle-free and glowing.  The pumpkin and pasta load this dish with a double dose of fiber, protecting against heart disease and reducing cholesterol.  Think of it as a healthy alternative to a high-fat alfredo sauce.

My experiment turned out to be successful, and I’ll definitely be adding this pumpkin sauce to my cooking repertoire.  Flavorful, comforting, and a little bit indulgent, I guarantee this pumpkin pasta will instantly bring the spirit of Fall to your kitchen!

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