Rush Hour Gourmet


When life hands you canned pumpkin on sale, make dinner with it. The flavors here - pumpkin, dairy, sage, a touch of Parmesan cheese - are what you might find in pumpkin-filled ravioli. But the effect is lighter; the vegetable becomes a subtle, can't-quite-place-it ingredient in this pale orange sauce. We replaced the original recipe's cream with low-fat milk, and the sauce remained rich-tasting. Feel free to toss toasted, chopped walnuts on top.

Pasta With Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

(Makes 4 servings)

8 to 10 ounces multigrain angel-hair pasta          (such as Barilla brand)

1 medium shallot

3 medium cloves garlic

2 sprigs sage leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup low-fat milk

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, mince the shallot and garlic; finely chop the sage.

3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic; cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until soft. Add the pumpkin, chicken broth, milk and half of the sage. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste; keep warm on the lowest setting.

4. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, then add 2 tablespoons of the cheese and mix well. Divide among individual plates and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese and the remaining sage.

- Adapted from The Ski House Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2007).

Per serving: 296 calories, 15 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat, 6 milligrams cholesterol, 190 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.