vegetarian

One-Pot Pumpkin Pasta

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Mushroom, Shallot and Goat Cheese Quiche

Fall is in the air — or at least, football is — and I’m more willing to turn on my oven.

Around this time of year, I also start wanting something savory and more substantial for breakfast than just yogurt. Good fuel before an early kickoff on Saturdays, and a bit more filling on a weeknight.

Enter the quiche. Versatile, simple, hearty, and portable. All you need is a couple eggs, cream (don’t substitute milk or half-n-half), and whatever vegetables, cheese, meat, and herbs you have hanging around. (Here’s one for spinach and bacon quiche).

Have a great weekend, and happy cooking!

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Mushroom, Shallot and Goat Cheese Quiche

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 pkg (8-10 oz) crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled (or substitute your favorite cheese)
3 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots. Season with salt and pepper; saute until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms; season again with salt and pepper. Increase heat to high; sauté until browned and softened, 5-8 minutes. (Be sure the liquid absorbed into the mushrooms,  released, and then evaporated.) Add thyme; sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Pour mushrooms into a bowl to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread mushrooms across a 9-inch pie plate, discarding any liquid. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine cream, eggs, and additional salt and pepper; beat lightly to combine. Pour over pie plate. Carefully transfer plate to oven. Bake for 35 minutes, until center has puffed up uniformly and top is lightly golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let sit at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

Sticky Fig Jam

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This should be a picture of an embarrassingly large picnic spread. I’m not talking Americana cold fried chicken and potato salad and pie picnic food (although I do love me some pie).

I’m talking prosciutto, salami, several cheeses, crusty bread, crackers, marinated vegetables, maybe some aged balsamic vinegar and good olive oil, and of course, more wine than you know you should have but don’t really care.

Just when you think you’ve perfected that picnic spread, fig jam walks in and blows your mind.

Game. Over. It’s that good.

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Fig jam is like strawberry’s sexy, more sophisticated older sister. Jam is also seriously easy, and is a great project for a novice canner if you’re so inclined. If not, you can refrigerate unprocessed jam for a few weeks.

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Fig season is fleeting, but if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some this recipe should definitely be on your must-do list for the weekend. The beauty of jam is that you don’t need perfect fruit. If you’re canning, be sure to use bottled lemon juice, which has a more consistent acidity level (important for safe and effective canning).

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I’ll be sure to upload a picture just as soon as I have a worthy picnic spread. For now, you’re stuck with pictures of jars in my pantry. In the meantime, feel free to daydream your own picnic spread.

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Sticky Fig Jam

From Put ’em Up! cookbook, by Sherri Brooks Vinton

Makes about 4 cups

2 pounds figs, stemmed and quartered (I used black mission figs)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

Bring the figs and water to a boil in a large nonreactive pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to soften the fruit. Crush the figs with a potato masher. Add sugar, vinegar, and lemon juice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until thick and jammy but not dry, about 20 minutes. Test for gel (for a how-to, go here). Remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes, stirring to release air bubbles.

If not canning, ladle into bowls or jars. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

If canning, use the boiling-water method. Ladle into clean, hot 4-ounce or half-pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 10 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. If any jars did not seal, refrigerate immediately.