Pumpkin scents fill the air

The carving of pumpkins, spicy aromas of roasted pumpkin-flavored coffees and a tease of pies to come, the pumpkin is the shining star this time of year. Typically these are the most popular ways to use pumpkin … but not the only ways. Pumpkin can be both savory as well as sweet. It is found in hearty soups, fondues and flans, and even pumpkin french fries! But have you ever tried pumpkin with pasta?

We made this for the family with a bit of hesitation. The combination is definitely different, especially for them.  Judy and I looked around the table as each one put the fork to their mouth, waiting for their reactions....they loved it! It is soooo good … sometimes we even amaze ourselves and we definitely did this time!

The delicate sweet sauce coats the pasta perfectly. The texture is like velvet with a hint of nutmeg and is a comforting reminder that the holidays are approaching! A sprinkling with extra parmesan and roasted pumpkin seeds gives it an added salty crunch.  Delish!

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Pasta with Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce

and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 pound pasta, of your choice*

2 large shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup half & half or heavy cream

splash of white wine

salt & pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated, more for garnish

roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish, recipe follows

*We used campanelle pasta (Joy's favorite)

While you are heating the pan to saute the shallots and garlic, start the water for the pasta and cook according to directions. Add butter and oil to pan and continue to saute the shallots and garlic until soft. Add pumpkin, chicken stock, half & half or cream and white wine. Bring to a boil for about 5 min. Lower heat, taste and season with more salt & pepper and nutmeg if needed. Combine with the hot pasta when done and garnish with fresh parmesan and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper. Carve top of pumpkin off to reach seeds and separate seeds from the pulp. Rinse seeds and dry on paper towel. Toss with olive oil, season with coarse salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden in color. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese! Yum!