I couldn’t have picked a better day to make this lovely deliciousness because after this weekend’s painstaking loss to Michigan State, I’m going to need a gigantic bowl of this pasta to comfort me and my Michigan tears. There are no words to describe what transpired those last 10 seconds of the game and so instead, I’ll put my mouth to greater use by eating this AND my feelings in the sanctuary of my own bed.
This pasta though, I can most definitely describe. It’s warm, fragrant, spicy, smoky, woodsy, sumptuously creamy, melt-in-your-mouth, an autumnal delight. If you’ve never ventured into savory pumpkin land, you must. I find it extremely satisfying and hearty, and honestly enjoy it more than when paired with its more common, sweeter counterparts. Something magical happens when you combine sage, cinnamon, nutmeg together– it’s a trifecta of warmth that coats the inside of your throat with every bite, and makes you want more.
My recipe has you baking this as a casserole but if you’d rather, you can also leave it as a freeform pasta dish, topping with toasted hazelnuts before serving. I’m also dying to try this next time with porcini mushrooms, goat cheese, thyme.
Many thanks to Sara at Cake Over Steak for hosting this wonderful Virtual Pumpkin Party today where fabulous food bloggers from around the globe are participating to share recipes showcasing this delightfully delicious squash. You can find Sara’s post with all the links to the great recipes here.
// Creamy pumpkin and chorizo pasta bake, cheese tortellini, mascarpone-sage sauce, toasted hazelnuts
2 – 8.8 ounce packages fresh cheese tortellini– I really like Bertagni four cheese tortellini, which I find at Whole Foods
3/4 pound ground chorizo
1 large shallot, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
6 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
s + p, to taste
1/2 cup hazelnuts
// Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Fill a large pot with water and set it to boil. Once it does, season with salt, and gently slip the fresh tortellini in until just cooked, a few minutes. Drain, set aside.
In a large saute pan set over medium high heat, cook the chorizo, breaking it into crumbles with a wooden spoon. When it’s almost cooked through, toss in the shallots and sage and stir together, letting them soften. As soon as you smell the warm, woodsy fragrance of the sage, mix in the flour and cook for a minute. Pour in the heavy cream, pumpkin puree, mascarpone cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine over medium flame until it has thickened slightly, a few minutes. Season to taste.
Turn off the flame and tumble the tortellini into the creamy pumpkin and chorizo deliciousness, gently folding everything together with a wooden spoon. Grab a rectangular casserole dish and pour the mixture in.
In a small fry pan set over medium low heat, toast the hazelnuts until just slightly browned and nutty. Take off the heat, cool, and chop roughly. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts over pumpkin and chorizo pasta bake. Cover casserole dish with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.