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As I was concocting one last savory dinner dish for ricotta, I realized I had not done the most obvious meal possible for this ingredient: PASTA! How could I leave this one out? Being that Thanksgiving is upon us, I decided I must include a key Turkey-day ingredient to get my family’s hearts (and stomachs) prepared for what is soon to come. You could even make this as an “After Thanksgiving” meal and add some chopped up turkey leftovers to it. That would be amazing!
I’m doing it!
At least I think that it’s Thanksgiving that is coming. But possibly I’m mistaken and it’s Christmas already. I can’t tell by all the stores I’ve been in lately. All I see are Christmas decorations everywhere! I suppose it is possible I missed Thanksgiving all together. I’m lucky to remember to load up all three kiddos when we go anywhere nowadays, let alone remember all the important birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
You don’t believe me?
Okay, so you probably do believe me. But here’s your proof…
We’ve all made it to church a few times since baby #3 made his appearance in late August. One of those times I got all the kids fed, semi-washed, dressed, hair “done”, bags packed, shoes ready and buckled in the car on my own (David had to catch a ride early to do some video work lest you think he was just being lazy). We proceeded to drive towards our church when, to my great horror, I looked down at my own feet. There I saw it.
That’s right. No shoes.
Home again. Garage up. Run on tiptoe. Dump out the shoe basket. Desperately grab for a matching pair (color coordinating does not matter at this point). Slip ’em on. Run again. Garage down. Whew.
That was a stressful 37 seconds.
And another instance… (Just to be sure I stay especially off topic)
Every week I like to get together with a bunch of other mama’s and their kids. We go to the park, someone’s house, or the play areas at the church we attend. My first day to play group post-baby-3 I was late. Perhaps that was a given. I forgot the stroller so I had to lug the baby carrier while simultaneously attempting to herd my girls toward the park across the street. I set everything down. We made it! Bathroom break for the two year old. Then I shadowed my girlies to be sure they didn’t attempt any dangerous feats… either on purpose or by accident. Another mom asked me if I wanted my car door open. No. She graciously went to close it for me. Baby crying. Feeding time. Strapped baby boy to me. More shadowing.
I’m worn out just writing about it.
You get the picture. I’m lucky to remember anything. If I did miss Thanksgiving, I suspect no one would be too surprised.
In any case, I added pumpkin to this RICOTTA-pasta!!
And I was pleased.
It’s an easy recipe to shop for and to make. One less thing to stress about at this time of year!
Here’s everything you need:
You also need chicken stock. The decision to add it came during the cooking process. This was a “write it as I cook” recipe. Hence, the chicken stock is not pictured above but you WILL need it. Chicken broth would work too!
I started by pulling off the leaves from several sprigs of fresh thyme…
Then I pulled some fresh sage leaves from their stems as well. Sage reminds me of Fall and the Thanksgiving holiday just like pumpkin does.
I gave the herbs a quick chop…
Then I melted some butter in a large, high-sided saute pan.
And added the herbs right in with it once it had melted completely.
Don’t those herbs look happy to be swimming in butter?
Next I added pumpkin puree, ricotta, and heavy cream.
I never said anything about this being a light dish, did I?
Because it’s not.
Time to mix it all together until it’s well combined.
I added in 1 cup of chicken stock to thin out the mixture a bit.
Then I seasoned it up with kosher salt…
And freshly ground black pepper.
I let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes and added more chicken stock as I felt was necessary to thin out the sauce a bit more. Probably no more than 1/2 cup more. I knew that when I would add the pasta to the sauce, some of the pasta water would come with it and thicken the sauce a bit because of its starchiness.
In the meantime I was cooking some pasta in a pot nearby.
Usually I think I would choose a shorter pasta for a sauce like this. But, alas, my decision was made for me as these spaghetti-like noodles were the only thing I had in my pantry. Going to the store just for shorter pasta was not in the game plan by any stretch of the imagination.
Yes, these noodles would do just fine.
I transferred the cooked pasta straight from the boiling water to the sauce, letting some of the pasta water come with the noodles. This thickened the sauce as I had planned, and it all came together as one creamy, cheesy masterpiece.
Time to serve up the pasta!!!
Top it with a bunch of freshly shaved Parmesan and some chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.
I love this twist on a typical Thanksgiving PUMPKIN recipe!
I would say it’s too early to say that, but it seems that it’s practically Christmas-time already.
Sorry, too loud?
I love Thanksgiving!
Here’s your handy Pumpkin-Ricotta Pasta Recipe for printing!