Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rosemary Pumpkin Pasta

Hi there, blogger world! So many thoughts for peace to my readers who have been affected either directly or indirectly (aren't we all to some extent? Shouldn't all of mankind affected by disasters which affect some of us?) by Hurricane Sandy. So much love going out to all of you from my household. What a devastating week it has been, for so many people. 
New in our (very lucky, hurricane-free) household, our waking/sleeping lives have shifted slightly as our 7 month old baby Banner has thrown us into memories of newborn sleep patterns while he struggles with the discomfort of teething. In a nutshell: we are TIRED! All of us. This baby does not want to be put down, demanding more snuggles and patience than any other time in his little 7 month old life-poor little soul, deeply uncomfortable with the very foreign changes occurring within his little mouth, and very little understanding about the how and why. But one thing has remained constant through the chaos of the last week: we are hungry, we need comfort food, we're starting to get really cold (love!) and so...the blog continues! 
Recently, I made this delish recipe for Rosemary Pumpkin Pasta, which filled my belly with such warmth and satisfaction that if it weren't for the lost art/need of culinary diversity, this would be in my belly every single day. Good news from my kitchen=its full of a variety of beautiful, different kinds of squash after today's trip to the market! Feelings of Christmas morning excitement for this girl!

In the meantime, we will continue to send positive and healing thoughts to victims of this terrible hurricane and those affected on every level of devastation. 

Rosemary Pumpkin Pasta
Gather 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary. While you're removing it from the stem and breaking it into tiny pieces, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on your stovetop (on medium heat), in a saucepan. 
After the oil becomes hot, toss rosemary into the pan, cooking for a couple of minutes, until it becomes crispy (not burned!) and a deep, beautiful green color. Your rosemary should remain green and should not turn brown or black. 
Once you've achieved the perfect dark green color and minimal but brittle "crunch", remove and put on a plate, blotting oil from rosemary.
(Try it. Just a little taste....AWESOME!)

Cook one box of pasta, al dente: penne or linguine. I've tried both and either work amazingly. 

In the meantime, combine the following ingredients in your oil (which should still be warm, but turned down to a medium-low heat for the next step):
1 cup of water
1/2 a cup of half and half
2 tablespoons of white-wine vinegar
1/2 a cup of parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of pumpkin puree, or roughly 15 ounces of flesh from one sugar pumpkin (roasted, scraped and pureed-leftover can be saved for future pumpkin recipes, and refrigerated for a couple of weeks)
Salt and Pepper to taste
A dash of red pepper flakes

The longer this cooks (low, on your stovetop), the more pronounced each flavor will become independently and as a greater combination of flavors. If you're in a hurry, toss with pasta and serve immediately. If you have time and are approaching this recipe more leisurely, simmer for up to 2 hours for an extra-amped up taste!
Crunchy rosemary distributed generously among plates, on top of pasta, is the most perfect finish. Also sprinkle a bit of red pepper flakes to garnish atop the rosemary. 

As always, I served this with a beautiful spinach salad, buttery, crunchy bread and white wine. 

I have passed this recipe on several times since it's first creation and it has a large audience appeal. This is the perfect make ahead meal as well, and can be delivered to a family with a new baby, or perhaps a new neighbor, or coworker. If you choose to do so, pack the sauce and rosemary in a tupperware along with a box of dry pasta. The sauce can be easily reheated and the pasta can be easily prepared when the timing is perfect for the meal recipient! I recently brought this meal to a friend who delivered her baby and the ease of the meal was key in the meal-giving. (If you're delivering to a family with a new baby, pack a bottle of wine as me! Encourage celebrations to begin!)

I hope that this post finds my readers well and feeling helpful towards our fellow men during this difficult time. Today, my two year old daughter, Cloveleigh, and I gathered several bags of toys to donate to children who have lost theirs in the storm. Consider at least a small gesture, if it's all you can do, because many small gestures equal something beautiful and much, much greater.  

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