Pumpkin Chipotle Cream Pasta Sauce

Despite the temptation, October cannot be spent existing solely on spooky treats.  We’d all be psychotic by Halloween or suffering a sucrose coma in the least.  Admittedly I’m having trouble letting the whimsy of the holiday go, wanting to eke out every last moment until November 1.

I challenged myself this week to consider making something with pumpkin that felt festive to the season but not baked or soup.  I don’t know that I’ve ever used pumpkin outside those two food genres.  Somehow incorporating it into pasta piqued my curiosity and I set out to whip up a spicy rendition of a pasta cream sauce staying true to the fall flavors.

I love the smoky flavors of chipotle en adobo and that immediately sprang to mind.  To my good fortunate the experimentation unveiled a creamy, spicy, smooth sauce lightly flavored with pumpkin, oregano and sage.  The color can’t be beat and it would make a perfect addition to a Halloween buffet to offset the traditional sweet treats.  You can pair it with your favorite pasta.

I noted a new style of Tinkyada (my preferred gluten free pasta brand for the quality of ingredients and its end structure) spaghetti: White Rice Spaghetti.  Though I have not compared the brown and white rice versions, I’d suppose brown rice has a higher nutritional content but I always experiment with newly released versions liking to know all my options.  This looks most visually similar to gluten spaghetti and has a great texture when cooked.

I’d like to flag something for gluten free diners.  I’m a creature of habit, shopping at the same neighborhood market and buying the same brands (largely due to the high quality and organic nature of them).  I went to a different store to pick up the chipotle en adobo and fortunately checked the label of the brand I picked up.  Indeed it had wheat flour.  I suppose as a thickener.  Brand number 2: also with wheat flour.  Fortunately brand number 3 did not have anything with gluten in it but again a reminder to always read your labels!

Pumpkin Chipotle Cream Pasta Sauce

Yield: Sauce for one batch of pasta

This creamy pumpkin chipotle sauce is a perfect way to celebrate the season in a unique way. Full, warming flavors of fall deliver a special dish to enliven Halloween or any fall day.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree or 15 ounces of fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry sherry (if you prefer not to use sherry, substitute more chicken broth)
  • 1 chipotle en adobo, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche or sour cream
  • Finish: Hickory smoked salt and roasted, salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Instructions

  1. In a medium, heavy saucepan melt butter and add olive oil. Add chopped onion and garlic; sauté until translucent (about 4-5 minutes).
  2. Add pumpkin, chicken broth, dry sherry (note: the alcohol content will cook off), chipotle, adobo sauce, oregano, red pepper flakes and sage. Stir to incorporate. Bring to a very low boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes; stirring periodically.
  3. Add the cream and crème fraiche or sour cream. Simmer on low for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion/stick blender (or pouring sauce into a conventional blender) blend until smooth. Pour onto prepared pasta of your choice. Finish with smoked salt (I prefer hickory for this; available online or at spice shops) and roasted, salted pepitas. Serve immediately.
http://boulderlocavore.com/2012/10/pumpkin-chipotle-cream-pasta-sauce.html

Comments

  1. says

    Toni, in a word this is…brilliant! From the flavor profiles to the texture it speaks to me on many levels. Bookmarking this recipe was easy, but now the decision is choose a light sprinkle of queso fresco or an aged romano on top.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Thanks Rebecca. The first photo was the last I took. Was trying to lay off the Halloween theme but in the end I could not resist!

  2. says

    I love using pumpkin to create a sauce for pasta! I do that a lot for mac ‘n cheese in the winter. It creates such a creamy texture and isn’t quite as heavy as a tomato sauce. Love the skeleton arms for pasta tossers too!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      You know Andrea after I made this I had one of those ‘why haven’t I done THIS before?!’ moments. I’m clearly in a tomato pasta sauce rut! I love this and look forward to experimenting more. LOVE, love, love the Mac and Cheese idea; thank you. I will try that too!

  3. says

    This recipe looks lovely! Pumpkin is such a great fall flavor, and I love combining the sweetness with something spicy and smoky like chipotles in adobo

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      I really love that too Sara. As a child I could not stand winter squash because it seemed the few recipes used to make it only added MORE sweetness with things like brown sugar. It’s only been as an adult that I figured out contrasting flavor types are what make me appreciate it!

  4. says

    Pumpkin has to be one of the most versatile ingredients there is – sweet and savory. I haven’t really used chipotles, nor chipotles in adobo sauce in cooking – Mexican food is just starting to gain popularity in Australia (where I grew up). I am looking forward to trying this.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Oh Felice, if you ever have the chance to come upon chipotles end adobo try them! Especially if you like spicy sauce. I love this chile and sauce in particular because it has a very earthy, smoky flavor. It’s a favorite of mine! I agree on the versatility of pumpkin. After making this I wondered why I had not tried something similar before!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      World Market/Cost Plus. I love them too. I usually pick up something for Halloween each year and try to stay with more folk art one-of-a-kind types of things but could not pass these up! I surprised my family with a salad the first night I got them. Was very fun!

  5. The Mom Chef says

    Ok, I admit that when I saw you had turned pumpkin into a cream sauce, I was a little less than excited. I’m a fan of pumpkin pie but that’s about it for that squash. However, reading the ingredients, that sounds absolutely amazing!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      I get it, totally. I too tread lightly where pumkin is concerned still working off childhood memories of creepy overly sweetened winter squash. This is more of an homage to pumpkin with earthy, warming flavors!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Jean thank you so much. Admiring your work as I do (and needing to avoid the temptation to lick the screen when reading your recipes) I really appreciate you comment! We are having a very snowy day today and I’m considering making another batch!

  6. Rachel says

    Perfect! Made this last night to serve with Costco’s roasted butternut squash ravioli – garnished with pepitas, no cheese. It was perfect, but only used half the sauce.
    Tonight’s dinner – the rest of the sauce, thinned with more chicken stock. Only question is whether to keep it smooth and light? or to add some hominy for heartiness? LOVE problems like this.
    Thank you for this recipe!

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      I LOVE this Rachel! I used to love butternut squash ravioli (need to figure out how to make them gluten free). So glad you took the bull by the horns and started innovating to your fantastic vision. Yum.

    • Toni | Boulder Locavore says

      Tessa you have my attention! Please ‘report back’ with the results won’t you? I began to look at the ingredients for the chipotle tube but have not finished. Hoping there is no gluten in it. Seems like a perfect solution to have it handy for many dishes. Thank you!

  7. Jennifer says

    Used this recipe and incorperated my shredded Thanksgiving turkey as a final topper for the teens! Fabulous Fall dish…thanks

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Despite the temptation, October cannot be spent existing solely on spooky treats. We’d all be psychotic by Halloween or suffering a sucrose coma in the least.  Admittedly I’m having trouble letting the whimsy of the holiday go, wanting to eke out every last moment until November 1. I challenged myself this week to consider making something with pumpkin that felt festive to the season but not baked or soup. I don’t know that I’ve ever used pumpkin outside those two food genres. Somehow incorporating it into pasta piqued my curiosity and I set out to whip up a spicy rendition of a pasta cream sauce staying true to the fall flavors. Boulder Locavore post. [...]

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