This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #thetalkofthetable #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. Read on for details of our delicious Creamy Pumpkin Penne featuring Barilla Penne pasta, paired with a Clos du Bois Chardonnay.
I love a good pasta dish for a simple dinner party. This Creamy Pumpkin Penne is perfect for a fall gathering — that pumpkin flavor everyone craves this time of year, tossed with Barilla Penne Pasta
. This is definitely a grown-up treat, paired with a California Chardonnay from Clos du Bois.
Great meals need to start with high quality ingredients; and Barilla is definitely a great choice when you are putting together a pasta dish. You can count on Barilla, an authentic Italian brand, for pasta that comes out just right and tastes great.
Barilla Penne Pasta is a short, tubular pasta shape that is excellent for substantial sauces. I figured penne would be the perfect choice for a fall meal, tossed with our creamy pumpkin sauce.
Shopping for Our Meal
With a tasty plan in mind, I headed out to pickup Barilla Penne Pasta and other ingredients for this recipe. A good wine always enhances a pasta recipe, so I also purchased a bottle of Clos du Bois Chardonnay to pair with our Creamy Pumpkin Penne. More on that wine pairing choice after we get into the recipe details.
Making Creamy Pumpkin Penne Pasta
The Creamy Pumpkin Penne Pasta recipe starts with roasting two sugar pumpkins along with a head of garlic. I have written the recipe for six, a nice size for a cozy dinner party on a chilly fall evening. You can easily halve the recipe for fewer people.
To roast the pumpkins, cut the stem off the pumpkin, then cut it in half in order to scoop out the seeds. I have learned in ice cream scooper is a handy way of pulling out those seeds that like to cling to the pumpkin flesh!
Once you have the pumpkin ready to roast, cut the root off a head off garlic. Sprinkle some olive oil over the garlic and inside of the pumpkin, and they are ready to roast. The pumpkin is placed flesh side down a baking tray to roast. The roasting takes about 40 minutes–a good time to make a green salad to serve with the pasta. And perhaps sample that Chardonnay!
As the pumpkin roasting time nears the 40 minute mark, get a pot of water boiling for the pasta. The pumpkin is ready when the skin can be pierced easily with a fork. Let the roasted pumpkin cool for a few minutes before pureeing it with the other ingredients.
You can get the creamy pumpkin puree together as the penne cooks. I found the Barilla Penne Pasta cooking time to be spot on–the eleven minutes cooking time on the box was perfect for just tender pasta.
The pumpkin gets pureed in a food processor with the garlic and other spices. We also add a touch of syrup–we expect a bit of sweetness with pumpkin, right? A dash of soy sauce lends a little umami flavor to the dish.
Toss the creamy pumpkin sauce with the penne as soon as the pasta has been drained. Adding a tablespoon or so of reserved pasta cooking water helps the sauce cling to the pasta and spread evenly.
Plate the Creamy Pumpkin Penne, topped with some toasted pumpkin seeds, for an elegant fall dinner presentation.
Wine Pairing for Creamy Pumpkin Penne
We paired the Creamy Pumpkin Penne with a Clos du Bois Chardonnay ($14, 13.5% ABV). I get a bit of kiwi on the nose of this chard. The taste is fruit forward, pear and lemon. The wine is well balanced, with restrained butter and oak. These qualities help make the wine food friendly, and a good partner for our Creamy Pumpkin Penne. This Chardonnay also has a creamy mouthfeel, which worked well with our pureed pumpkin sauce.
Clos du Bois is a California winery that seeks to bring French wine making techniques to the sunny California climate. The result is well-balanced wines, with approachable fruit that makes them pleasant to sip on their own and great to pair with dishes such as this pasta recipe.
- 20 ozs Barilla Penne Pasta
- 2 small sugar pumpkins, about 3 lbs each (for 3 cups roasted pumpkin)
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 head of garlic, to make 2 tbsp roasted garlic
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 pinches cinnamon
- ½ tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375.
- PREPARE THE PUMPKINs: Use a large, sharp knife to cut off the stem, along with a small circle of the pumpkin. Then slice the pumpkin in half vertically from the stem area to the bottom. Scoop out the seeds with a tablespoon or an ice cream scooper. Use a sharp pairing knife to excise any of the remaining fibery strands that hold the seeds.
- PREPARE THE GARLIC: Slice about ½ inch off the root end of the head of garlic, exposing some of the garlic clovers. Lay the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil.
- Sprinkle 1 tbsp of the olive oil over the pumpkin flesh and the garlic. Salt and pepper to both the pumpkin and garlic to taste. Wrap the garlic clove tightly with the aluminum.
- Place the pumpkin halves flesh side down on a baking sheet. Place the garlic alongside the pumpkin.
- Roast the pumpkin for about 40 minutes, until the flesh gets soft and you can piece the pumpkin with a fork. Remove the pumpkin and garlic from the oven to cool.
- Start boiling water for the penne pasta as you get ready to make the creamy pumpkin puree.
- Scoop out the pumpkin flesh, measuring out about 3 cups of pumpkin. Add it to a food processor, along with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse the food processor to create a nice pureed consistency.
- Add the cinnamon, paprika, soy sauce, syrup and cream to the pumpkin. Puree to incorporate.
- Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese, puree to combine. Set the creamy pumpkin sauce aside as the penne cooks.
- Cook the penne pasta according to package instructions. The Barilla Penne Pasta should be ready in 11 minutes.
- Reserve ¼ cooking water, then drain the pasta. Toss immediately with the creamy pumpkin, adding a bit of the cooking water to help coat the penne with the sauce. You can use all the pumpkin right away, or hold a little out of the pasta at first so you can decide if you want to use it all or pass additional sauce at the table.
- Stir in the ½ cup Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate the Creamy Pumpkin Penne, and sprinkle each serving with a small handful of pumpkin seeds. Pass additional cheese at the table, and enjoy with a good Chardonnay.