Pumpkin Dinner: Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce

Since this spring a friend of mine has a vegetable garden where she grows loads of different vegetables. Her crop of pumpkins was amazing, she had so many pumpkins that she gifted me two of them. I pureed both the pumpkins and while I was looking at my bookmarked pumpkin recipes, I received an email from Phyl of Of Cabbages & King Cakes with a question if I wanted to participate in a Pumpkin Dinner Round Up. Of course this sounded like fun! I ended up making Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce and Pumpkin-Butterscotch Cookies. The cookies will be posted later, today I’m sharing the recipe for the Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce.

I wasn’t able to find evaporated milk, so I used sour cream. The flavor of the pumpkin and gorgonzola was very subtle, next time I will probably use a bit more gorgonzola.

Pasta with Mushrooms and Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Sauce

adapted from Cooking Light
serves 6 

1 lb. uncooked pasta, small shapes work best
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms, any variety
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground sage or fresh sage, chopped
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk (I used a cup of sour cream)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Keep warm.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms, onion and garlic; cover and cook 3 minutes.  Uncover, cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Combine sage and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add cornstarch mixture and cheese to milk mixture; stirring with a whisk.  Cook 2 minutes or until thick and smooth, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in pumpkin, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add pasta to skillet.  Pour sauce over pasta and mushroom mixture, toss well to combine.


CEiMB – Ellie’s Choice: Whole Grain Spaghetti with Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto

This weeks recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly caused quite a stir as it was chosen by Ellie Krieger herself. I was so excited to make this, as it was right up my ally: who can go wrong with pasta, garlic and tomatoes?

We were given an option of roasting our own tomatoes or using a can of roasted tomatoes for the sauce. Since I couldn’t find canned roasted tomatoes I opted for making my own, also added some garlic cloves to the roasting dish mixed them in with the pesto. This dish is so easy to put together and the small bite I tasted was wonderful! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to enjoy a whole plate as my last wisdom tooth was extracted today and I now have a gaping hole in the back of my mouth with 3 stitches.  I froze it all and am sure that I’ll enjoy the spaghetti later this week! I loved the taste and the smell and think I might even be able to convince E. to give this a try!

Go here to check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought of Ellie’s choice!
Up next week: Muesli Parfaits picked by Sarah of Sarah’s Kitchen Adventures.

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto

Olive oil cooking spray
1 1/3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and quartered (about 6 medium) or 1 15 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup blanched sliced almonds
1 medium clove of garlic
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 pound Whole Grain Spaghetti (note: I like Barilla)

If using fresh tomtatoes, Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking tray with cooking spray. Place the tomatoes on the tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until they are soft and slightly charred. When the tomatoes are nearly done, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In a medium dry skillet, toast the almonds over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden and fragrant, 3-4 minutes.

Transfer the nuts to a food processor, add the garlic and process until they are finely ground. Add the roasted or canned tomatoes, basil, vinegar and pepper flakes to the processor. As the processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream. Add the parmesan cheese and ¼ teaspoon salt and pulse to combine.

Add the pasta to the water and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain and return the pasta to the pasta pot or to a serving bowl. Add the sauce and toss to combine. Season with additional salt to taste. Serve garnished with whole basil leaves.

Makes 6 servings
Serving size: 1 ¼ cups

Prep time: 12 minutes
Cooking time: 36 minutes

>Asparagus Tomato Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tart


This Saturday I picked up some more green asparagus at the market, I love asparagus season: just can’t get enough of them!! The other day I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, but I also didn’t feel like ordering fast food. So I had a look at my fridge/freezer and decided to play with what I had on hand.

The oven was preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I thawed some puff pastry sheets and rolled them out, I then scored a line about 1/2 inch from the edges of the puff pastry to get a nice rim after baking. Two tablespoons of pesto were spread onto the center of the puff pastry and then topped with halved cherry tomatoes (9 whole, 12 half tomatoes). This was baked for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile I washed 400 grams of asparagus and used pencil-thin ones, if they were thicker I halved them length-wise. I layered these on top of the puff pastry and sprinkled some salt and pepper over them. I topped the asparagus with slices of soft goat cheese and popped the tart back into the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the edges of the puff pastry is golden.

Doesn’t it look delicious???

Here’s a close-up for you!! Yum!! Serve this tart with a nice salad and it’ll serve two.

>Taste & Create: Mrs. B’s Super Easy, Super Cheesy Stovetop Macaroni


It´s that time of the month again: time to post about Taste & Create. Like I mentioned before, Taste & Create is a cultural exchange program for bloggers: you sign up monthly and are paired with another blogger. You look around at their blog, find that one recipe (or more if you like) that you want to recreate and post the about it. You also submit a picture and a very short review to the T&C website.

This month I was paired with The Misadventures of Mrs. B. I had so much fun reading her blog, she and I share a love for cheese and citrus. So I had to pick two recipes: this one I’ll post today, the other (Lemon Meringue Pie) will follow this week. The first recipe I picked was super easy to make and involved cheese 🙂 It was nice, but somewhat bland. I wonder if the Cheddar that is available here might have less flavor than the American ones….. It was still yummy thought!

The recipe can be found here at The Misadventures of Mrs. B.

>Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Gorgonzola


We had about two days without any snow. Then Wednesday came and it started snowing again. Below is the view from my window at work since yesterday, I must admit I do like the look of it. But I still think the snow/ice is a pain in the ass, especially since I have to drive for an hour to get to work, which is quite long for Dutch standards.

Because of the snow I had been craving winter vegetables. Brussels Sprouts were on sale at the supermarket, so I went and surfed the Internet to find the perfect recipe. I found loads of great once but this one for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Gorgonzola at Kalyn’s Kitchen caught my eye, I knew had some pecans and gorgonzola on hand so this didn’t even require a trip the the store.

What was great about this recipe is that it only requires some preparation, then you slide it into the oven and you have your hands free to make other yummy dishes like the marinated flank steak with blue cheese sauce that I served with it and blogged about yesterday.
I really enjoyed the Brussels Sprouts prepared this way although I did find the gorgonzola a bit harsh. But that’s solely to blame on me as I picked up the wrong cheese: I prefer the Gorgonzola Dolce but had the regular on in the fridge.

Recipe can be found here at Kalyn’s Kitchen.

>CEiMB: Marinated Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce


This week it was time for Blair of Deliciously Golden to pick a recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly. She decided on Marinated Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce, recipe to be found here at Blair´s blog or here at Foodnetwork.

Gorgonzola was the Blue Cheese of my choice and I was pleasantly surprised with the taste combination of the balsamic vinegar and the gorgonzola cheese! I served this with delicious Ovenroasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Gorgonzola (recipe will follow tomorrow) and potatoes. Another great recipe that I will be making again. Go here to check out what my fellow Elliestas thought of this recipe.

>CEiMB: Spinach, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza


Just a short post for now, just came back from the cinema: saw ‘Avatar’. Wow!! What a movie!
Up above is my gorgeous pink bike, covered in the snow. I haven’t seen this much snow since I live in this appartment… It’s been like this since Christmas: crazy!

So, this is my first CEiMB-post in a while. I must admit it’s great to be able to eat again and even better to be able to enjoy the things I eat again! This weeks recipe for Craving Ellie in My Belly was picked by Half Meatball/Half Matzoh Ball Children.

Argula was nowhere to be found at the supermarket, so I used spinach instead. I also added some yellow pepper I still had laying around in my fridge. The second time I made these I added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the veggies. This is another winner by Ellie: easy to put together in no time whatsoever and tasty too!! I will most definetely be making this one again!

The recipe can be found over at Half Meatball/Half Matzoh Ball Children and at Foodnetwork. Check out what my fellow Ellie-istas thought of the Arugula, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza here!