Roasted Pumpkin and Collard Green Pasta
You’d think with all this vacation time, I’d have more time to blog than during ‘normal’ times – but unfortunately, that just hasn’t been’t the case. It’s been a super busy few weeks, and I just can’t even begin to wrap my head around the idea that we’re one day away from the 25th of December, a week from the end of the year! Fortunately, I’m hopeful that things will slow down here soon and I’ll be able to spend a little more time in the kitchen. I mean, although I’ve been cooking – I haven’t really had time to do an awful lot of playing around. There’s been more ‘okay, I know this works’ and a lot less ‘hmmmm… let’s try something new!’ Some of that might be due to the fact that I’m just not as inspired by winter leafy greens as I am by summer veggies and fruits, but that just means I’m going to have to work harder!
One upside to the busyness though, is that I’ve really been getting to spend more time with my friends and family. My sisters, particularly – and others too. It’s made realize how much they mean to me, and I’ve been trying to make it a point to spend more of that ‘we’ll get around to it’ time actually, you know… getting around to it. Sadly, I get the feeling that I’m going to have to do some bridge building again with some of my San Francisco friends. My last attempt to set up plans when going in to the city was a phenomenal bust. :-/ My tendency to be a homebody is directly in opposition with being a good friend… lol So I’m trying to be better.
At any rate, when I did have a little time last night to try playing around, I decided to take the opportunity to do something with the pumpkin that I’ve had sitting on my counter for the last month or two. I picked it up at the Farmer’s Market a while back, and kept wanting to do something with it, but didn’t really have the space in the fridge to store the leftover bits until yesterday. Yule had come and gone, and we were working through the remainder of the food from that – and it really seemed like a good time for it. It was a good size pumpkin, too – I probably should have weighed it, but I’d guestimate probably about seven pounds or so. I decided to take half of it, and roast it for puree – which, quite frankly is the easy part. The remaining half a pumpkin, I divided in to wedges and then peeled, cut in to chunks and roasted. Peeling it was a pain, by the way. I highly recommend futzing around with peeling and stuff like that sometime when you don’t have a family waiting for dinner. It took me a lot longer to get it peeled than I had initially estimated, which made dinner take a little longer than I wanted.
The last time I made a Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin – for the Browned Butter and Lentil Pasta I made last month, I used pumpkin that was leftover from roasting the whole pumpkin, which ended up causing the pumpkin to kind of break down and coat the pasta – like a sauce. It was good, but I was hoping for something that held it’s integrity a little better, creating little morsels of squash goodness. I thought that roasting the pumpkin in chunks rather than whole might allow the pieces to hold together better. And it definitely worked out better, although some of the smaller pieces of pumpkin chunks ended up mushing a little bit, the majority of them held their shape a lot better when tossed with the pasta. I didn’t want an entire half a pumpkin in this pasta though – so for the remaining ¼ or so of roasted pumpkin chunks, I spread them out on to a cookie sheet, froze them, and then vacuum sealed them and saved them for next time.
I was originally thinking of using the collards to make another batch of stuffed collard leaves, but it was getting down towards the end of the week, and I still had a lot of veggies from my FFTY box, so I decided to chop them up and throw them in as well. Somehow, despite all the cooking we’ve been doing, I still had most of my box left. The cottage cheese was suppose to simply be used as snacks/breakfast/etc… However, when I received it in my most recent Planet Organics delivery, I found that the expiry date was for the very next day – so I really needed to use it quickly. I contacted Planet Organics, and they gave me a credit without any hassle – which made me happy, even if I wasn’t thrilled about needing to eat a bunch of cottage cheese right away… lol. Not that it was too great a hardship – we all love Cottage Cheese, however I can still only eat so much in one sitting, and mixing it up a little bit is always a good thing. I still have some left (post-expiry!) that I’m thinking of using in another Lasagna, so we’ll see how that goes. The experience has reminded me that I really do need to write up that post I’ve mentioned to Mr. Man a couple of times comparing Spud!/Planet Organics, I’ll try and write that up soon.
I suppose now that I’m starting to stick winter squash in the freezer though, I should consider pulling out some of my squirreled away summer bounty, such as the roasted tomatoes or the summer squash that I prepped a while back. I’m a little bit of a hoarder – even though I know that we live in a state where winters are blessedly short, I feel just a little bit better knowing that I have a few morsels of favorite summer foods tucked away. Knowing me, I’ll probably end up pulling out the zucchini from the freezer the week before fresh zucchini ends up in my weekly veggie box. Of course, this leaves my freezer in a perpetually over-flowing state. Something of a vicious cycle. (Or maybe thats delicious cycle. lol!) At any rate – the sooner we get that chest freezer we keep talking about, the happier a camper I shall be. Hope everyone has a Happy Holidays!
- 1 lb Peeled, seeded Pumpkin Cut in to 1″ chunk
- 1 lb Whole Wheat Spiral Pasta
- 1 bunch Collard Greens; stems removed and chopped in to thin strips
- 1 cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic; minced
- 1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
- 3 tbs Butter
- 1 Sprig of Thyme, finely minced
- 1 Sprig Savory, finely minced
- 6 (or so) Sage Leaves, finely minced
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Toss Pumpkin chunks with enough olive oil to coat, and sprinkle liberally with Kosher Salt
- Spread in a single layer on a roasting pan and Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender
- In a large pot of Salted Water, cook the pasta to Al Dente, Drain and set aside
- Melt the Butter in the pot
- Add the onions and Saute over medium heat until translucent and fragrant
- Stir in the garlic, thyme, sage, and savory and heat for 30 seconds or so
- Add the Collard Greens and continue to saute until bright green and tender
- Remove from heat
- Return the Pasta to the pot, along with the roasted pumpkin chunks, cottage cheese, and cider vinegar
- Toss to combine
- Kosher Salt to taste