When I was little, my parents always used to refer to broccoli as trees. We mostly had it whenever we got Chinese take-out and they would insist that we eat the trunks as well as the leaves. Rachael Ray refers to it as trees as well and so, since this is in fact her recipe, I decided to pay a little homage to her cute-sy names by throwing some in. Plus I have this obsession with adding broccoli to creamy pasta dishes. It’s an addiction, but what am I going to do – there are worse things in the world.

Can you believe that I didn’t have any pasta while on the cruise? And it’s not like I didn’t want it – there just wasn’t any to be had. All of the entrees seemed very South Beach-esque to my carb-loving soul. When we got back, my roommate asked me what I was making for dinner this week – as if she even needed to! I was going through withdrawals and needed some pasta immediately. I was also craving some kind of orange veggie – think squash or sweet potatoes – and came across this Rachael Ray recipe for pasta with pumpkin sauce. I was actually first drawn in by Rachael Ray’s recipes about a year ago when I came across her interesting uses for butternut squash and pumpkins. I have also made her pumpkin pasta with sausage and butternut mac’n’cheese, both of which I really enjoyed. I happened to like this version of the pumpkin sauce better, however, probably because it includes cinnamon and some tabasco (I omitted the nutmeg). Even if you are not a pumpkin lover, you should give this sauce a try. It’s very creamy, kind of like an alfredo of sorts.

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by the event’s creator – Ruth of Once Upon a Feast!

Penne-wise Pumpkin Pasta (With Trees)

Serves 4, adapted from Rachael Ray

1 can pumpkin (I used Trader Joe’s canned butternut squash)

1 lb whole wheat penne

1 tsp tabasco

3 shallots

1 tbsp EVOO

3 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 lb broccoli florets

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup half and half

salt and pepper, to taste

8 sage leaves, torn

Bring a pot of water to a boil and start to cook the pasta. Drain when done.

Microwave the broccoli for 5 minutes or steam it.

In a pan, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic (chopped) and saute for 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, chicken broth, and half and half, as well as the cinnamon and tabasco. Boil and then simmer until thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as sage. Mix the pasta with the broccoli and sauce. Top with some parmesan cheese.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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12 Responses to Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta (With Trees)

  1. Donna-FFW says:

    Joanne- Ive been dying to try her pumpkin pasta.. now I definitely will seeing as you gave it a thumbs up. Ive actually heard lots of rave reviews and glad to know you concur. Trees.. cute!

  2. Debinhawaii says:

    Although I am personally not a huge fan of either pumpkin or broccoli (trees), this actually looks really good. Maybe my tastes are maturing! 😉

  3. Pam says:

    I’ve been having a pasta craving too! I think I have everything in my pantry and fridge to make this!

  4. Oh wow I hear the call of the carb! Nice comfort meal. Well done!

  5. burpandslurp says:

    aah! I’m loving tis…me and pumpkin/sweet potato go very well together! we’re click buddies!

  6. Kim says:

    Wanted to ask if you saw Tyler make sweet potatoes on the latest episode? It looks good. Here’s the link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/asian-sweet-potato-salad-with-cucumbers-dates-and-arugula-recipe/index.html
    I thought of you when I was watching him make it on Saturday!!

  7. Jeff says:

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had a great time too!

    Trees never heard of that before but now it is going to be stuck in my head!

    I like the addition of pumpkin and would add some great earthy flavors. Nicely done!

  8. ttfn300 says:

    i could go for a bowl of this right now 🙂 love trees!

  9. Joanne says:

    Donna – It was really quite good. It’s one of those things that sounds so out there, but really comes together so that it doesn’t TASTE “out there”.

    Deb – Haha or regressing, depending on how you look at it. The end result didn’t really taste like pumpkin and you can sub in any veggie for the trees. Broccoli just happens to be one of my less expensive favs.

    Pam – What I love about it is that it’s totally a pantry-friendly dish! Definitely a $5 or less meal.

    Jackie – Thanks for stopping by! The carbs are constantly calling me. I couldn’t live without them!

    burpandslurp – You’re so cute. They are my BFF as well.

    Kim – I didn’t see the show but I always look at the weekend food network episode line-ups online since I know that’s when the new episodes air. I was SO excited to see it, the recipe looks so good. I will be making it as soon as I move back home in two days. Thanks for thinking of me! <3

    Jeff – It was awesome (both the trip and the dish haha).

    ttfn – Lol me too! I was sad to eat my last bowl of it last night but it had all of the leftover creamy sauce and so it was extra delicious.

  10. Ruth says:

    Looks wonderful and as for the “trees”…I haven’t used the term since my girls were little. Now we try to coerce my 2 year old grandson (who, unfortunately is in a “I don’t eat green” phase)with the notion of eating trees.

    Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  11. Seriously creative recipe, it sounds delicious!

  12. Kevin says:

    Pumpkin puree makes a great pasta sauce especially when combined with sage. This one is nice and creamy and I like the broccoli in there!

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