Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin ... it's what for dinner!

When we went to the pumpkin patch the other day, I bought several pie pumpkins for cooking up.  I have only recently decided that I like pumpkin and I like it mostly in breads and cookies, but I have been wanting to branch out and try something new.  One of my friends passed along a pumpkin penne recipe and I finally made it this weekend.  Since I have been reading so many food blogs, I decided to take some pictures to share, too.

I didn't take any pictures of the pumpkin before I cut it up, but I added a similar one to this picture in case you weren't sure of the size of a pie pumpkin.  I cut the pumpkin up, put it in a bowl, added two inches of water and cooked it in the microwave.  I also washed and saved some of the seeds for roasting.
Joel had to jump into the picture and "smell" the pumpkin. 

 Once the pumpkin is cooked, you can scoop it out with a regular spoon.  Sometimes you can pull the shell off, too.  It was still a little hot so I opted for the spoon.

 Once you have all of the insides scooped out, you can use an immersion blender to mash it.  My little pumpkin made 3 cups of mashed pumpkin.  I only needed 2 cups for the pasta, so I will be making some pumpkin cookies soon.

This is what the pasta looked like!  If only we could smell it, too!  Steve and I liked it.  The pumpkin had a mild flavor in this dish. The boys did not like this, but I think it's because they heard that there was pumpkin in it before they tasted it.  

The sauce looks a little lighter in this picture, but that brings up an interesting point about cooking with fresh pumpkin.  It is not the same color as canned pumpkin.  I am not sure why that is true, but just know that your dishes will have a slightly lighter color if using fresh pumpkin.

I think that we will be having our leftovers of this dish tonight.  The first time I served it with ham.  Tonight we are going to try it with turkey meatballs.  I am also going to add a little nutmeg to my serving tonight to see what that does. I will let you know how the pumpkin cookies turn out, too.  ;-)


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