Pumpkin Penne with Arugula, Mushrooms and Romano

September 22, 2011 · 27 comments

in healthy,pasta,quick and easy,vegetarian


I love pumpkin desserts and drinks, but I’ve always shied away from savory pumpkin dishes. I tried pumpkin soup once and it basically tasted like a hot, liquid version of ice cream and…well, that’s not good. My  husband loves it, of course, but he also loves candied sweet potatoes, which are definitely not my thing, either.

I had leftover pumpkin puree, but didn’t want to make dessert. Since I’d already made a quickbread and pancakes, those were out. I was admittedly hesitant about taking on a savory pumpkin dish, but it seemed like the only other option. I decided to look for one that wasn’t overly sweet and spicy (spicy as in cinnamon and clove-y) and came across this one.

This recipe seemed like a winner because the sauce looked thick and indulgent. It called for nutmeg, but I love nutmeg in creamy sauces, so this made sense to me. The same goes for sage. And, as you know, I can never turn anything with mushrooms down. Plus, the pumpkin amount seemed minimal, so it felt like a good transition into savory pumpkin dishes for me. The original recipe calls for gorgonzola but, try as I might, I just cannot get behind blue cheeses.  I substituted Pecorino Romano, which I love for its sharp and salty bite. I also added arugula, which gave it a slight peppery bite (since I cooked it first, the peppery flavor was drastically reduced).

We all really enjoyed this dish. It’s creamy and indulgent without the guilt, and even though it’s a vegetarian dish, the use of meaty mushrooms and whole wheat pasta made it plenty filling.

Zachary inhaled this. He ate it more quickly and with more gusto than I have seen him eat a meal in recent history. You’d think I had set a plate of cookies down in front of him. He was not disappointed when we had leftovers the next day, either.

I’m submitting this post to Presto Pasta Nights (which I haven’t done in way too long!). It’s hosted this week by Tandy of Lavender & Lime.

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