15 October 2012

Creamy Pumpkin, Chestnut & Bacon Pasta

Perfect for an Autumn night, this dish is quick and light, but refreshing and filling - and not too bad on the calorie front. Chestnut is something that doesn't seem to be used a great deal, seen as a gourmet ingredient, but I really enjoy the taste of it and quite often pick up the vaccum-packed boxes. It makes a scumptious Turkey, Leek and Chestnut Pie (a post-Christmas Jamie Oliver recipe I think) and can be really interesting in fruit cakes in lieu of walnuts, and strudel. Not that I've ever been brave enough to make Strudel!

My recipe is based on an old family recipe and made its public debut with my July Foodie Penpal Alice who writes at Alice Can't Cook.

Nb: you'll have noticed the photo has no Pumpkin in it, as I didn't have any on hand so I substituted peas. Any vege you have in the cupboard can be used, I quite like it with courgette.
Creamy Pumpkin, Chestnut & Bason Pasta

Ingredients:
250g pasta
1 small Red Onion, finely chopped
1 cup Roasted Butternut Squash pureed (takes about 40mins in the oven & can be done beforehand)
½ cup milk
1 tsp mixed herbs
½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
A generous grating of fresh nutmeg
40g low fat cream cheese
4 Rashers of Bacon
100g ready to eat chestnuts, crumbled (save a few to garnish)
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (save a little bit to garnish)
  1. Cook the pasta per directions on package, drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, over medium heat, cook the onion in a non-stick skillet until translucent
  3. To the Onion, add the pumpkin puree, milk, water, salted herbs, black pepper and nutmeg.
  4. Stir to combine, lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes
  5. Add cream cheese and chestnuts and stir until cheese is melted.
  6. Toss in pasta, bacon and fresh basil and stir to combine.
  7. Serve immediately or cooled the next day, garnished with crumbled chestnuts and basil. serves 2.
*Diced browned Chicken or Turkey in lieu of the bacon stirred through would be lovely with this meal to ‘meatify’ it up.

Do you have a 'gourmet' ingrediant that you like to level up your weekday dinners with? Cilantro, Goats Cheese, Pomegranate?

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