Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Pasta and Pumpkin Chili

It is officially Autumn, and you know what that means?  Pumpkin in EVERYTHING!  Coffee, ice cream, donuts.  Normally a lot of the pumpkin goodies that we see this time of year are not very healthy, so, I have decided to try to incorporate pumpkin into more main dishes.  So far I have tried two different dishes, wheat pasta with pumpkin sauce, and pumpkin chili.  Both turned out so delicious that I just had to share.


Wheat Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce

1/2 pound your favorite type of wheat pasta (I used penne)
1- 1 1/2 pound ground turkey or chicken
1 small onion
1 granny smith apple
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1 small can of pumpkin (about 3/4 a cup)
1 cup Fiber One Cottage cheese
ground cinnamon
ground cloves
rubbed sage
minced garlic
crumbled goat cheese and pecans to garnish (optional)

1.  In large skillet saute chopped onion and apple.  When the onion begins to look translucent, add ground meat, and begin to brown the meat.  As the meat browns, add minced garlic and rubbed sage to taste (I do not like a lot of sage, you may like more, use your judgement.)
2.  Put a large pot of water on to boil.  When water boils, cook the 1/2 pound of pasta according to the package directions.  When fully cooked, drain and return to pot.
3. While pasta cooks, fully brown meat.  When meat is completely cooked, remove the meat, onion, and apple mixture from skillet and set aside.  Deglaze the skillet with 1/3 cup chicken broth.
4. Add to skillet the canned pumpkin, cottage cheese, remaining chicken broth, cinnamon to taste and cloves to taste (I like a lot of cinnamon).  Stir together, and heat on medium until bubbly.  When bubbly, stir in meat mixture.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes to fully combine flavors.
5.  Add the meat sauce to the pan of pasta, and fully mix.   Serve with optional garnish of goat cheese and pecans.


Pumpkin Chili

2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 large (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 small (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (12-ounce) bottle chili sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
crumbled goat cheese to garnish (optional)

1. In a large dutch oven or soup kettle, brown the ground chicken or turkey with the onion. (I browned mine in a small amount of chicken stock, about 1/2 cup.  I added a small amount of chili powder and minced garlic as well, but you do not have to.)
2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Ladle into bowls and top with grumbled goat cheese if desired.

Enjoy, and feel free to share!