I know it’s that time of year when the words “pumpkin spice” might cause post-traumatic stress disorder from overconsumption and the shelves are already stocked with winter beers, but don’t give this recipe the cold shoulder. Pumpkin, mushrooms and ricotta combine to make a pot of pumpkin sauce pasta that is healthy, warming and indulgent. So much so, that it becomes a delectable midweek meal at any time of the year. You can share it with friends, hypothetically, or hoard the pot for yourself. I would recommend the latter.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
12 oz spaghetti
8 oz mushrooms (button, chestnut, and/or shiitake)
2 tablespoon butter
½ large onion
12 oz pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1+ cup mushroom broth, from soaking dried mushrooms or a pack
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or fish sauce, if you’re not worried about vegetarians)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons ricotta
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring water to boil while you cut the mushrooms into slices.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan on medium heat, letting it cook until tiny black dots start to form and the color turns light brown. This is (fittingly) called browned butter and it taste just like it smells: like hazelnuts and magic. It is the ingredient for the best cookies, blondies and mashed potatoes.
3. Throw mushroom slices into the pan with salt and pepper, making sure each slice gets enough love (read: butter). Turn them every minute or two for five minutes, until golden brown.
4. Chop up your half an onion and add it to the mushrooms with the rest of the butter.
5. The onions will be nice and glassy within two to three minutes, so in the meantime, plunge your pasta into the pot of boiling water, together with a fistful of salt. This will need about as much time as the sauce: eight to nine minutes.
6. Here comes the heart and soul of the dish: add the pumpkin puree and mushroom broth to the frying pan. Mix thoroughly on low heat.
7. Add all of the condiments, herbs, and spices. Just, all of them.
8. Let that simmer until the pasta is toothsome, al dente to you Italians. If the sauce is a little dry, take half a cup of pasta water and add it now, otherwise: drain the pot, then add the pasta to the sauce.
9. Mix with ricotta, plate up and enjoy.
(10. Fight hungry onlookers off with stick.)
Love pasta and want more? Check out these recipes: