Pumpkin season is here, and though I am not a particular fan of pumpkin spice, in its savory applications, I can’t get enough. That’s where this incredibly simple dish comes in. I make it so frequently in the season, that I’ve pretty much come to know the recipe by heart. When one-pot pastas started to become a trend, I was dubious. I mean, it flies in the face of everything I have learned about cooking pasta. It didn’t seem possible. And my first few attempts where not great successes. But I learned more about the necessary ratios and have perfected a few version myself, including this Creamy Gorgonzola version and a Lemon, Leek and Goat Cheese. The key to creating a perfectly cooked but creamy result is attention to the pot and the balance of wet ingredients to the pasta. Rich pumpkin puree, goat cheese and cream cheese create the perfect base.
For all its simplicity, I find this dish to be very complex. But it is easy to tailor it to your tastes. Replace the wine with water if needed. Use all cream cheese instead of adding the goat cheese. The slight hint of spice adds depth, but you can eliminate it altogether, though I promise the cumin and coriander just complement the warmth of sage and pumpkin perfectly. Sage has a great autumnal note but leave it out or go with oregano if you prefer. You could add some red chili flakes is you like a little heat. Drop the hazelnuts or substitute walnuts, but the crunchy contrast is a very nice touch.
Simple One Pot Pumpkin Goat Cheese Pasta
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 cups (32-ounce box) chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup white wine (or one more cup water)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage, divided
1 Tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
16 ounces linguine
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into cubes
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature, crumbled (or four more ounces cream cheese)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
- Put the onion, garlic, pumpkin, vegetable stock, wine and water in a large Dutch oven and stir to combine. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of the sage, the salt, cumin and coriander. Add the linguine and bring to a boil over high heat, pushing the noodles into the liquid as they soften. When the liquid comes to a full boil, cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has reduced to a sauce loosely coating the linguine. You will need to stir more frequently as the liquid reduces to prevent sticking. Turn the heat to low and stir in the crumbled goat cheese, the cream cheese ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese and the remaining sage. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick and smooth (I find using tongs to toss everything together is a great tool). Season with salt and generous grinds of black pepper and toss. Serve immediately, topped with the toasted hazelnuts and some more parmesan.
- If you can’t find ready chopped toasted hazelnuts, put ½ cup of whole nuts in a small dry skillet and heat over medium heat until they are warmed through, about 3 minutes. Turn them out onto a clean tea towel, the fold the towel over the nuts and gently roll them around to remove the skins. They don’t have to be completely denuded, just as much as possible. Put them in a small ziptop bag and give it a couple of bashes with a rolling pin to break them up.
More Pumpkin Recipes