Creamy pumpkin pasta

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IMG_4636Now that I have finally settled into a cooking routine of sorts in school, I’ve started experimenting again in the kitchen the students share here. My University has 3 buildings designated to foreign students and each one has 2 kitchens available for use from 10am to 10pm everyday. The kitchens are very basic only containing 3 single hob electric table top stoves and a microwave, so we can’t bake unless we buy a table top oven which some students have done. However for day to day cooking we keep it simple and use the stoves. Aside from the stoves, the second appliance every student needs is a rice cooker. Oh the heavenly rice cooker! Rice is China’s main staple dish along with noodles so the rice cooker is a basic necessity here. Aside from a rice cooker, one can also get an electric pressure cooker which I feel is heaven’s gift to the kitchen. Those amazing things can cook anything from cakes, rice, meat to bread and porridge or soup.I LOVE them! Will share some recipes of dishes that I have made in the pressure cooker soon.

But back to the matter at hand;; creamy pumpkin pasta. For one week I felt like trying a few vegetarian recipes and giving my wallet a break (vegetables are VERY cheap here in China). I wanted to try making dishes that wouldn’t make me miss meat which is what most vegetarian dishes make me do. I think out of all my experiments, this recipe came the closest to achieving that goal.

Ingredients

  • Half a medium sized pumpkin
  • 1 cup of cream or homemade white sauce
  • pasta (I used penne pasta but any type is ok)
  • Shredded cheese (the amount is your choice)
  • curry powder
  • pepper (black or white)
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • any other spices of your choice

Method

  1. Cook the pasta till al dente (cooked but still firm), drain and set aside.
  2. Separate the pumpkin from the shell and cut into small chunks, then boil in salt water till the pumpkin is soft but not mushy.IMG_4624
  3. Drain the water from the pumpkin then blend the pumpkin chunks in a blender till creamy.IMG_4626
  4. In a pot on low heat, mix the pumpkin puree and cream and add spices. Be sure to taste and adjust as needed.
  5. When satisfied with the flavour, add the cheese and mix till it’s melted into the mixture. If the pumpkin sauce is too thin, leave it on low heat to let it reduce and thicken a little while stirring occasionally.
  6. Take the sauce off the heat and add the pasta. Gently fold the pasta into the sauce mixture till all the pasta is covered.IMG_4631
  7. Serve with stir fried vegetables.

Simple and easy to do! I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin but it makes the pasta irresistible! I loved this dish so much I made it twice! Yummy!

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