Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pumpkin and Kale Pasta with Lemon Goat Cheese Sauce

This weekend I cooked some of my Halloween decorations -- the cute little sugar pumpkin sitting in my entry way turned into a delicious dinner! I tweaked this recipe from Serious Eats, opting for tangy and bright goat cheese, a little extra lemon, and a splash of white wine to liven things up. It's a hearty and comforting dish that satisfies my cold weather cravings while still including plenty of vegetables (this time of year, I tend to only want to eat things involving lots of cheese, carbs, and cream of mushroom soup). In other news, we had our first snow yesterday. I'm not ready for that yet!
Serves 5-6

2 Tb olive oil
2 lb sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" cubes
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
~1/2 cup dry vermouth (or white wine)
12 oz farfalle pasta
1 large bunch of kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
2 Tb lemon juice
2 oz goat cheese
salt and pepper

Heat a dutch oven (or soup pot) over medium high heat. Pour in olive oil, and once hot, add in the pumpkin. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. The pumpkin should begin to soften a bit.

Push the pumpkin to the sides of the pot, exposing the bottom of the pan. Add the shallots and the crushed red pepper to the center of the pan, and let them cook for about one minute before stirring to combine. Next, add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Stir in the stock and vermouth, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Raise the heat to high, add another pinch of salt to the liquid, and then stir in the pasta. 

Once the liquid comes to a boil, partially cover and let cook until the pasta is about 4 minutes away from being done (the box called for 10 minutes for al dente, so I let it cook for about 6 minutes), stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

At this point, begin adding in the kale a handful at a time, stirring it into the liquid so it will begin to wilt. Once all of the kale is wilted down and the pasta is done, turn the heat down to medium low. 

Stir in the lemon juice and goat cheese. The goat cheese will combine with the remaining liquid to make a creamy sauce. Taste, and feel free to add a little extra goat cheese or lemon if desired.

Serve and enjoy!

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