Creamy pumpkin pasta with arugula and chestnut mushrooms sautéed in red wine sauce

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I promised you all on Facebook that I was going to post another pumpkin recipe today for all those jack o’lantern pumpkins or any carving leftovers you might have laying around, now that Halloween is over. Two weeks ago I posted a recipe for filo baskets with roasted pumpkin, but today I’m going with something completely different as I’m using pumpkin as the base for a pasta sauce! I’ve gone for a colorful vegetarian autumn rigatoni dish and added some arugula and chestnut mushrooms sautéed in a lovely red wine sauce.

Chestnut mushrooms actually have a better flavor and texture than plain white mushrooms, so I wouldn’t recommend replacing them with the whites ones for this recipe, cause it will result in a loss of flavor. I used butternut squash for this recipe, but you can easily replace this by any other pumpkin you have lying around since butternut squash has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. However, since butternut squashes aren’t that big, you only need to use half of a large normal pumpkin or you’ll end up with way too much sauce. I’m hoping that by sharing this pasta recipe and the filo basket recipe, you’ll all be inspired to use pumpkin in other dishes apart from soups and salads, cause it really is a very versatile vegetable!

Serves: 5 people

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pepper and salt
  • 3 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 20 chestnut mushrooms
  • 10cl red wine
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 50g arugula / rocket salad / rucola
  • 500g rigatoni

Preparation

Chop your pumpkin into pieces of about 3-5cm and put them in a casserole. I chose to leave the skin from the pumpkin on and remove it after it was cooked cause it was just easier to peel it as it loosens in the oven, but feel free to remove them before if you don’t want to risk burning your fingers later. Mix the olive oil along with the garlic and pour it onto the pumpkin pieces, mingle it a little bit to make sure most pieces are covered with the garlic and olive oil. Season well with pepper and salt. I used quite a lot of pepper (around 15 grinds) and a little less salt (around 8 grinds). Put the pumpkin pieces in the oven at 200° for 30 minutes.

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Start boiling water for the rigatoni, wash the mushrooms and dry them off with a towel. Cut them up into slices (no need to remove the stem or the skin) and heat butter in a frying pan and fry for 4–5 minutes. Add the wine and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or until half of the wine has evaporated.

Once the pumpkin is done, take the casserole out of the oven and remove the skin of the pumpkin pieces, if you haven’t done this already. Use a masher or blender to mash the pumpkin pieces and add the cream and all the juices that might be left in the casserole and mash them all together. All that’s left now is to spoon all the ingredients together and add the arugula at the very end.

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