"It's a great dish to create on a brisk fall day to warm the tummy and delight guests... not to mention that it also helps make use of some of our Fall décor like squash and pumpkins."
When Debra is not in the kitchen serving up seductive culinary masterpieces she is running her business Paper and Press -- give her a call and/or check out her web site when you are in need of beautifully designed custom stationery, calling cards and invitations.
2 - 3 small size squash and/or pumpkins (vary for color interest)
reserved pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg
1 box of whole wheat penne pasta
2 cloves of garlic, whole
1 cup Pancetta (optional for vegetarians)
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups skim or whole milk
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cups of white wine
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1 egg (or the egg white equivalent)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup each of frozen peas and frozen corn (fresh is always wonderful if available)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350
Take a lovely assortment of squash and pumpkins, core and cut into cubes. Cut as many as fill a large glass bowl.
Reserve small pumpkins with outer shells intact for serving.
Reserve pumpkin/squash seeds for toasting.
Toss pumpkin/squash cubes 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg.
Lay seasoned pumpkin/squash cubes on a cookie sheet evenly and roast for at least 20 minutes on high heat.
Boil some water and drop 1 box of whole wheat Penne in salted water
Cook al dente
Remember the pasta will continue to cook when combined with the sauce later
Preparing the Carbonara Sauce
In a large pot, add about 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 garlic cloves, whole and 2 shallots, diced
Add 1 cup of pancetta, diced
Add roasted squash/pumpkin mixture and mix thoroughly to break it down further
Add 1 1/2 cups of skim or whole milk to large saucepan
Add 1 egg white, tempered
Add 1/2 stick of butter
Add 3/4 cup of white wine
Add 1/2 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano
Add 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Add 1/2 cup of frozen peas and 1/2 cup frozen corn
MIx well to smooth consistency
Add salt and pepper to taste
Use a pinch of flour if the sauce is too thin. If too thick add more wine
Preparing the Seeds
Remove the pumpkin/squash seeds, place evenly on a cookie sheet, add salt
Bake in oven temperature of 300, cook until slightly golden brown
Add empty serving pumpkins to oven and watch to not overcook (no more than 20 minutes)
When the pasta is done al dente, drain and incorporate directly into pot of sauce without rinsing to allow for the pasta water to help adhere the sauce. Continue to stir until incorporated.
Plating the Dish
Remove roasted pumpkins (your serving bowls) from oven. Place the pasta carbonara in the pumpkin shell. Garnish with pumpkin seeds, a little extra basil and some more Parmigiano (who doesn't love more cheese?!). Open a nice bottle of white wine or champagne and embrace the season!