Do not adjust the color! This penne pasta gets its deep orange-yellow color from fresh pumpkin purée and was the perfect base for a tasty alfredo-style pumpkin and chanterelle mushroom sauce.
With a pumpkin arriving in our most recent box of produce from Full Circle Farms, I eagerly anticipated creating a dish of pumpkin and chanterelle lasagne. The idea was to layer slices of pumpkin and mushrooms between wheat lasagne noodles along with cheese and a cream-based sauce. When I pitched this menu to Jack, he wrinkled his nose and said something about taking the fall pumpkin spirit too far. So there I was with a beautifully ripe pumpkin, a couple of cups worth of aromatic chanterelles, and an unsatisfied craving for a pasta experiment.
So I decided to make a twist on my original idea by creating a pumpkin pasta and a sauce to accompany which would bring together the flavor of pumpkin and chanterelles. To avoid being vetoed again, I offered to give Jack a night off from cooking and create the dish as head chef. This way he could relax and I could satisfy my craving. He remained skeptical, but was willing to go along. Win-win, right?
A savory, satisfying meal of pumpkin penne served with a creamy pumpkin chanterelle sauce and slices of chicken apple sausage warmed up a truly blustery Arctic night. No flights in or out of Point Hope the past couple of days, and hurricane force gusts punctuated gale and storm force winds. Freshly grated parmesan cheese and a dash or two of Cholula sauce finish the dish.
Throughout the whole meal, Jack kept mmmm-ing in approval and muttering about how different the combinations of flavors were and how beautifully they worked together. Although I added mildly spicy chicken sausage, this recipe would work equally well sans meat. When thickening a sauce such as this, we have found that rice flour is superior to other thickening agents.
Pumpkin Penne with Pumpkin Chanterelle Sauce
- 1 lb pumpkin penne pasta (see below)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 shallots, finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups chanterelle mushrooms, chunked
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (we use Better than Bouillon)
- 1 2/3 cups pumpkin purée (fresh or canned)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp Cholula sauce
- freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- pinch cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- chicken apple sausage, sliced
- 1 tsp sage
- parmesan cheese
- (optional) thickener, such as rice flour or wheat flour, as needed
- Heat water for pasta.
- Heat oil and sauté shallots, garlic and chanterelles for about 3 minutes.
- Stir in chicken stock, pumpkin purée, whipping cream, Cholula sauce, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add sliced sausage.
- Let sauce simmer and thicken. If it needs to be thickened, add a rice flour 1 tbsp at a time till desired consistency is achieved.
- Cook pasta al dente.
- Stir sage into drained pasta and toss with some olive oil.
- Place pasta on individual plates, add sauce, and finish it with grated parmesan cheese and a splashes of Cholula sauce.
Pumpkin Pasta Dough
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup pumpkin purée
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- water as needed
- Whisk together eggs and pumpkin.
- Place semolina flour in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the middle of the semolina flour.
- Pour egg mixture and olive oil in well.
- Use a fork and scramble eggs into flour.
- Keeps scrambling until dough resembles large curds. Add small amounts of water if needed.
- When all the dough looks like large curds, knead dough several times in order to form a dough ball.
- Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Follow pasta machine manufacturer’s directions to form noodle shape of choice.