Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wild Mushroom & Pumpkin Pasta

October! You’re here! I love you! I love hot cider at the pumpkin patch. I love pumpkin cakes and cookies and soups and chilis (and beers). I love sunny but crisp days, and orange leaves, and red leaves, and scarves. Guys, I have a serious scarf problem (I have like… 35 scarves. Yikes!). I love cinnamon and nutmeg so, so much.

Wild Mushroom & Pumpkin Pasta // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
But what I really love…are scary movies and haunted houses! I know it’s only the first of the month, but… Halloween. Do you guys have your costumes or party food picked out yet? Please tell me your house is covered in fake blood and fake cobwebs.  
Wild Mushroom & Pumpkin Pasta // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I’m so excited! I have a major urge to watch Are You Afraid of the Dark right now. Did you watch that as a kid? We didn’t have cable tv, so I only watched 5 episodes that a friend recorded (on VHS) for us. Amanda and I watched those 5 episodes a hundred times. Here are my top 5 (and only 5) favorite episodes:
  1. The Tale of the Lonely Ghost: By far the best episode! An old haunted house, a creepy-ass child ghost, a bitchy but super popular teenage cousin. All keys to a good story.
  2. The Tale of the Twisted Claw: “It’s the clor of a vulchah!” Amanda and I know this one pretty much word for word.  
  3. The Tale of the Prom Queen: Um, who doesn’t love a ghost prom queen from the 50s. I know I do!
  4. The Tale of the Pinball Wizard: The entire mall turns into a deadly pinball game. And there’s obviously a teenage love story in here. Enough said!
  5. The Tale of the Phantom Cab: Brothers get lost hiking and a creepy old dude in the woods who holds them captive… um. It’s more PG than it sounds.
I may have also spent an entire Saturday a year or two ago watching YouTube recordings of AYAOTD. Just sayin’.

Wild Mushroom & Pumpkin Pasta // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Anyway, that was worthwhile! Also, to celebrate the amazingness of October I made pasta with pumpkin (fall, check), wild mushrooms (fall, check), and sage (yep, check, check, check!). It’s sort of loosely based on a Rachel Ray recipe, but don’t let that stop you from making it.

Wild Mushroom & Pumpkin Pasta // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Wild Mushroom & Pumpkin Pasta
Adapted from this recipe

I used lobster mushrooms and chanterelles, but also threw in some crimini for bulk. The wild guys add in all that wild, earthy flavor I love, and the crimini are the work horse, ensuring that you have a little bit of mushroom in every bite (without costing a million dollars, because let me tell you, wild mushrooms aren't cheap!). But, feel free to use whatever you can find, afford, forage. I also added in a splash of truffle oil, because it just brings out the flavor of the 'shrooms even more. It's totally optional though. This makes a bunch, so it's great for a crowd, or for leftovers. I tossed some diced dry-cured Spanish chorizo into my leftovers, which was pretty tasty! 

1 lb pasta (shells, mac, etc)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
pinch nutmeg
pinch cinnamon
pinch cayenne
8-10 sage leaves, sliced thin
salt & pepper to taste
truffle oil (optional)
Grated parmesan

Heat water for pasta, salt it and cook penne to al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water, drain and set aside. 

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until soft and golden, about 6 minutes (add more oil or butter if they stick), sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Whisk together broth, pumpkin, milk, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add to mushrooms in pan, and when everything starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 to 6 minutes to thicken. Stir in sage and truffle oil if using. Add in pasta, and reserved pasta water if it's too dry. Serve with cheese. 

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