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Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Pasta

When my kid requested bow tie pasta for dinner, I wasn’t quite sure how pumpkin would factor into the equation. I had been imagining pumpkin soup or pumpkin risotto or even a whipped pumpkin puree.

He began our meal prep by sizing up the pumpkin perched on the kitchen counter – I knew just what he was thinking – it really would have made a pretty awesome jack-o-lantern. This pumpkin was destined for a different fate. We carved it up, peeled it and cut it into bite sized chunks.

One of my favorite things about cooking up pumpkin is that just a little bit of sweetness goes quite a long way. So we started  with the intention of roasting it and then giving it a very light dusting of brown sugar.

That’s when I got the idea for a little sweet and savory pasta dish. We started out by drizzled the pumpkin pieces with olive oil and cracked some salt and pepper on top and put them in the oven to bake. The meal was starting to take shape. Before I knew it we were also cooking up some (turkey) bacon and a new recipe was born…

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

Prep Time: 20 mins  Cooking Time: 30 to 40 mins

3 cups pumpkin, peeled + cut into bite sized pieces
2 shallots, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 6 slices bacon (we used turkey bacon)
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 pound bow tie pasta
handful of toasted pine nuts
1/2 to 3/4 cup Parmesan Romano cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pumpkin out on a rimmed cookie sheet sprinkle shallots and garlic all over the pumpkin. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook on the middle rack in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and just starting to brown. Meanwhile, place bacon on a second cookie sheet and cook at the same temp for 15 minutes or until crisp. When bacon is done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the bow ties for 7 or 8 minutes. Drain, place 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pot and heat over medium heat. Return pasta to the pot and toss.  Chop up the bacon into bite size pieces and add to the pot of pasta. Add the roasted squash pine nuts continue to toss. Finish off with the cheese, stir and transfer to a serving bowl. Serves 6.

Note: I set aside some of this pasta sans bacon for my veggie husband. Tasted pretty great that way as well.

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