Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Penne with Sage

Last week, my friend called me to ask if I wanted two large pumpkins she had purchased to can. She had run into a snag, and the pumpkins were languishing on her porch, admonishing her every time she walked past them.

It seems that when she decided to buy the pumpkins and can them, she had a clear picture in her head of lovely jars of pumpkin puree on the shelves. However, since the last time she canned pumpkin, the USDA has withdrawn the recommendations for canning pumpkin puree or butter. The reasons given were that the viscosity and amount of water in the pumpkin varied too much, and also the acidity of the pumpkin was too low. You may read more about it here. At any rate, it is only considered safe to can cubed pumpkin. This was sufficiently upsetting to my friend that she was unable to move forward with canning the pumpkin.

Always on the lookout for an opportunity to do a community kitchen thing, I suggested she bring her canner, jars and pumpkins over to my house. She had an enormous Golden Hubbard, and a very large neck pumpkin; I had 3 butternut squash and one small Golden Hubbard hanging around, similarly admonishing me. We could spend a pleasant afternoon peeling and canning, AND get rid of these judgemental fruits. She did, we did, and even without her mammoth Hubbard we got 12 quarts of cubed, canned pumpkin. A good afternoon's work!

Hubbard squash have incredibly hard skins. After peeling the 3 Butternut squashes, my small Hubbard and the neck of her Neck Pumpkin, we were beat. We saved the Huge Squash for later, when Chuck chopped it up with a cleaver. It yielded 5 more quarts of cubed squash, plus 2.5 pounds I used to make 4 quarts of Curried Pumpkin soup.

There was a small amount left over after the canning marathon. I decided to make a stir-fried pasta dish using the squash, some Berggarten Sage from the garden, onion and garlic.
I also had a spaghetti squash that needed to be used, and I wanted to add some cheese. A local sheep-milk feta seemed like a good addition to this dish.

Before starting, cook the spaghetti squash. I baked mine in the oven, but here are a variety of methods. Cook the pasta according to package directions. I used Dreamfield pasta, which is a low glycemic, low carb, high fiber pasta useful in managing blood sugar levels. This was our first time using it, and both Chuck and I thought it tasted just like "regular" pasta.

Chop the onion, garlic and sage, saute in olive oil

Toss in the cubed butternut squash, saute until fork tender.

Add cooked spaghetti squash.
Add cooked pasta and crumbled cheese. Garnish with whole sage leaves. Very yummy!
Pumpkin Penne with Sage
2 servings, 5 Weight Watchers points per serving.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1/2 cups onion, chopped

1 clove garlic clove chopped

1 cup butternut squash, chopped

1 cup cooked spaghetti squash

2 oz dry Dreamfield Pasta, cooked al dente

1 oz feta cheese, crumbled

I would have created a nifty nutritional label from this site:, but I just read that I can't use the image online; the license is only for print use. Sorry.
Nutritional information, including pasta-
Calories- 355
Calories from fat- 98
Total Fat- 11 g
Saturated Fat- 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat- 0.5 g
Trans Fat- 0 g
Cholesterol- 12 mg
Sodium- 185 mg
Total Carbohydrate- 58 g
Dietary Fiber- 8 g
From Pasta- Soluble Fiber 3 g
Insoluble Fiber- 2 g
Sugars- 7 g
Protein- 11 g