seasonal cooking

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta

image

The pumpkins! They have arrived! They’re cropping up in front of the grocery stores, the pie-baking displays are up, and a certain coffee chain is selling its infamous seasonal spiced beverage.

A little pumpkin seemed just right for the kitchen this weekend, and this pasta recipe did not disappoint.

image

One pot, a few pantry basics, some spices, and twenty minutes later, dinner is on the table.

image

I accidentally used an entire 13 oz. package of pasta, which made the sauce super-thick. Next time, I will make sure to measure.

image

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta
Adapted slightly from kitchentreaty.com

8 ounces (uncooked) linguine (I used whole grain)
4 cups vegetable broth (I used reduced sodium)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup petite diced yellow onion (about 1/4 of a large onion)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
4 oz. goat cheese
Fresh parsley, chopped, if desired

In a large, heavy pot, combine all ingredients except goat cheese and parsley. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Cook for 9 minutes, stirring and tossing with tongs. As the mixture begins to thicken, stir constantly, scraping the bottom to prevent sticking (you may wish to switch from tongs to a wooden spatula or spoon). Test the pasta; cook an additional minute if needed.

Remove from heat. Crumble goat cheese into the pasta. Stir gently until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir and taste; season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Divide between bowls and sprinkle with parsley.

Advertisements

Figs Preserved in Honey Syrup

Last summer, I made fig jam for the first time, and it’s been a highlight of my picnic spreads and cheese trays ever since. This summer, I was lucky enough to score large batches of figs two weekends in a row. I love fresh figs, but their shelf life is painfully short. I restocked my jam supply, and then turned my attention to other preservation methods.

I liked the idea of keeping the fruits whole, and serving them with yogurt, hot cereal, cheese, or just alone. Fall project: find (or create) a cocktail recipe featuring the syrup! I used black mission figs, the variety I typically see in my area, but green figs would look beautiful for this recipe. Try wide-mouth pint jars for easy access to the fruits.

20140810_193015

Figs Preserved in Honey Syrup

From Put ’em Up, by Sherri Brooks Vinton

Makes about 9 pints

10 pounds figs, stemmed
6 cups water
2 cups honey
1 cup sugar
9 tablespoons bottled lemon juice (1 tablespoon per jar)

In a large saucepan, cover the figs with water by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes to soften the fruit. Drain.

Combine 6 cups water, honey, and sugar in another large saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the figs and gently boil them in the syrup for 5 minutes.

Pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into each clean, hot pint jar. Pack the jars gently but firmly with figs. Ladle hot syrup over the figs to cover by 1/2 inch, leaving 1/ inch headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid. Screw lids on the jars temporarily. Gently swirl each jar to release trapped air bubbles. Remove the lids and add syrup, if necessary, to achieve the proper headspace.

Can: Use the boiling-water method. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 45 minutes. turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Shrimp and Zucchini Tacos

I started a new job today. I’m really excited for an entirely new challenge, meeting new colleagues, and using my brain in new ways. More to come on that front.

Anyway, they say you should take time off between jobs. I didn’t really follow that advice. I took a couple of days, and I played catch-up on errands, sleeping, and mostly boring things. (I would have included quality time at the pool, but Mother Nature had other plans.) But, I did get to use some of that extra time for berry picking, making and canning salsa, and doing some prep cooking for the week ahead.

Here’s a quick weeknight dinner I whipped up to take advantage of zucchini season, utilize other ingredients I had on hand or was purchasing, and to create a no-leftover meal (between welcome events, navigating a new commute, and various social outings, leftovers would otherwise go uneaten).

image

Shrimp and Zucchini Tacos

Inspired by Bon Appetit

Per person:
2 teaspoons oil or fat of your choice
1 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon diced onion, if desired
4 oz. cooked shrimp, cut in half if large
Salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, other seasonings, to taste
2 or 4 small corn tortillas, 2 flour tortillas, or 2 leaves Boston Bib lettuce

For serving, as desired: diced avocado, salsa, cilantro, lime wedges, etc

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add zucchini, peppers, and onions; sauté until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add shrimp to pan; heat through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, chili powder, and/or cumin.
Meanwhile, heat tortillas (if using). Spoon filling into tortillas or lettuce leaves; serve with desired toppings.