Dinner tonight: Penne with pumpkin sauce

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I get in a rut with pasta. I usually have some kind of tomato sauce with meatballs or roasted veggies. Over and over and over. So I was excited when my friend Meghan offered me some leftovers of her Pampered Chef Harvest Pasta Skillet. It was delicious! Brett ordered pumpkin ravioli at a restaurant once and has been talking about it ever since, so I thought this would be an easy knock-off.
And dairy-free? No problem! It was easy to tweak for my new restrictions, and I simplified some ingredients from the original. Here’s my version of the recipe:

Penne with Pumpkin Sauce
1 onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 can pumpkin
4 c. vegetable or chicken stock
1 c. water (or 3/4 c. white wine and 1/4 c. water)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 box (14 oz) penne pasta
salt and pepper

– in a 12-inch skillet, sauté onion and mushrooms 2-3 minutes
– in a separate bowl, mix pumpkin, stock and water
– add garlic to skillet and sauté for about 30 seconds
– pour liquid in skillet and heat to a simmer
– add pasta, cover and simmer for 9-11 minutes
– uncover and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring periodically until pasta absorbs almost all liquid
– add salt and pepper to taste

This is seriously good! It’s so rich and creamy that I didn’t miss the dairy at all. And it was a big hit with Hannah, though she picked out the mushrooms. I liked that it seemed like a fancy pasta dish without any fancy ingredients. This will be on our table again.

My ingredient upgrades: organic stock, whole wheat pasta

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