Friday, November 20, 2015

Foodie Fridays: Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts

For my Halloween table post this year, I included a recipe for pasta with a pumpkin sauce.  It was good but not great.  I just tried a recipe for Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts, and it is much tastier.  In fact, I may just have to use the recipe for next year's Halloween menu!  Of course, I could serve it at any time of the year, but this rich and hearty dish is especially good for an autumn dinner.  The only change I made was to increase the toasted walnuts and stir them into the pasta rather than saving them for a garnish.  This recipe is a keeper for me, and I will make it again often!

Pasta with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Walnuts

12-16 oz. farfalle pasta
4 T. butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh sage
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin purée
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C. mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

For garnish:
1/4 C. snipped fresh chives or minced fresh parsley
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/2 C. of the cooking water.  Put the pasta in a large bowl and mix with just enough olive oil to keep it from sticking.

In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat until it starts to turn a golden brown.  Add the onion, garlic, and sage and cook over moderately low heat until the onion is softened, about seven minutes.

Add the pumpkin purée and reserved pasta water.  Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix in the mascarpone and 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese.  Cook on medium low heat until the cheeses are incorporated.  Add the pasta and toss to coat.  Heat through and season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.  Stir in the walnuts.

Transfer the pasta to serving plates or bowls and top with chives or parsley and Parmesan cheese.  Serves 4-6.

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