Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pumpkin Fettuccine with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, & Walnuts.

You know that first day that fall actually feels like fall? Well, today is that day for me and I am really enjoying it. I have to admit that while I've been talking about fall a lot lately, At first my feelings were coming from a place of denial. You see, I really love summer and I thought that I was going to have a hard time transitioning into another season. But now we are about 3 weeks in and I am starting to get the feeling that autumn and I are going to be great pals in no time. Maybe even seasons with benefits! After all, fall already let me see it's gourds. 

Possibly the best thing about fall was the sound I woke up to this morning... rain drops. You see, I had a bright and early wake up call at 4:30 this morning to shoot a commercial for Dr. Pepper (one of the only doctors that I like) and while I could have happily slept for 14 more hours, I actually forgot how grumpy and tired I was because of the pitter patter of those little raindrops saying, "Sarah, get up. I'm going to make your day (but ruin your hair)

For those of you from a place with normal precipitation cycles rainy days in LA are absolutely everything. It goes so long without raining here in the summer that sometimes I forget about it. Rain is like that super hot guy you are crushing on (before you were married of course.) It make's you feel warm and fuzzy inside, it smells really nice, it makes you want to cuddle in front of the fire place (amongst other things...) but at the drop of a hat (or rain boot), the magic is gone. Out of nowhere that "something" that you once had together just dries right up. That is, until you run into each other 6 months later. Yes, sometimes I do compare the weather to handsome men. You should try it and see where your mind wanders... Anyways... Here we are. Me and the rain. 6 months later... and I am crushing hard. I've got my sweats on (that's the rain's favorite outfit I have) and I am planted on the couch falling in love... (Rich looks bored). I've got a pile of sleeping dogs on me and a bowl full of pasta in me. Could anything really be better? The answer is no. 

Fall is feeling pretty great right about now. And while this rain is making me giddy... I'm going to have to blame this pumpkin pasta for my school girl butterflies. Yes, pumpkin pasta. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that pumpkin sweets are not really my jam (speaking of which, I've never tried pumpkin jam, but while it would be jam I doubt it would be my jam). I feel like pumpkin desserts are starting to feel a bit overdone. Pumpkin is a squash, a vegetable, and while I love my pumpkin sweets as much as the next girl instagramming her pumpkin spice latte... I've been branching out a bit and am learning that some of my very favorite pumpkin recipes are not sweet at all.

Whole wheat pasta in a pumpkin alfredo sauce and tossed with caramelized onions, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts. It's savory, flavorful, and full of toasty fall flavors that are enough to make you forget that summer ever existed and cook a perfect rainy day lunch.

Pumpkin Fettuccine with Caramelized Onions, 
Goat Cheese, & Walnuts.

1/2 pound (8 ounces) whole wheat fettuccine
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 cups low-fat milk
5 ounces goat cheese cheese, cut into big chunks
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon sea salt... or to taste. This sauce needs A LOT of salt or else it will be very bland. 
freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of red pepper flakes
shaved Parmesan cheese for topping

Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté sliced onions over medium- low heat until caramelized. Set aside.
Cook pasta to al dente. Set aside. 
In a medium saucepan, heat butter. Once melted, add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes to make a roux. Add garlic and cook the roux another minute until garlic is fragrant and roux is golden and bubbly. Next, whisk in the milk and bring to a slow boil while stirring constantly. Once the milk has thickened, add the pumpkin and the goat cheese and whisk until smooth. Add salt and pepper taste. Do not be shy with the salt. Remove the sauce from the heat, toss with pasta and caramelized onions. Divide pasta into bowls and top with shaved parmesan and toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish. 

gangster puppy. loves rain, pasta, 
and wearing her hoodie to keep dry.

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