Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo

Here's another fall pumpkin fix that comes in a comforting pasta dinner. When How Sweet It Is posted this recipe last year, I was immediately interested because of the mascarpone cheese. I love this ingredient in cream sauces. Even though this recipe uses a small amount, I recommend not skipping this creamy addition. We weren't fans of the fried sage leaves. I think in the future I would just add the ones that are baked with the pasta. I tend to be a little boring when it comes to certain herbs as a little often goes a long way for me.

You will need:
*1 pound whole wheat fettuccine
 (I used the usual box I find that is about 14oz)
*2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour

*2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-fat milk
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

*1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

*3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 tablespoons freshly chopped sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt

*1/4 teaspoon pepper

*1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
*freshly grated fontina (optional)
*breadcrumbs (optional)
*extra sage leaves if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray or oil.

2. Boil water and cook pasta according to the product directions. Leave about 1 minute off the cooking time since you will be baking the pasta with the sauce. Drain and keep aside until needed.

3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and stir continuously until bubbly and golden, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

4. Stir the milk into the roux you just created. You want to keep stirring and steadily raise the heat as needed, until the mixture bubbles and starts to thicken-about 5-7 minutes. Next, mix in the mascarpone, parmesan, pumpkin, sage, salt, pepper and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until all ingredients blend and the sauce is thickened.

5. Add pasta to the prepared baking dish. Pour sauce on top and toss well to coat. If desired, add some grated fontina and a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Bake for for about 20 minutes, or until it is bubbly. Serve pasta immediately and top with sage leaves-listed in step 6.

6. If you'd like the fried sage leaves topping,  heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add a few sage leaves at a time to the hot pan and fry for about 30 seconds. Remove and place on a paper towel.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pumpkin Danish

This year is absolutely flying. I found myself shocked that it's October. The school year is in full swing, and we have a ton of apple and pumpkin treats to bake. I am trying to catch up because I love fall. It's always marked for me by the return of football and cool mornings. One thing I could do without is the loss of daylight, but I guess I can be too picky. This pumpkin danish is the perfect treat for a fall morning. I found this recipe on Lauren's Latest.

for the danish, you will need:
*1 tube crescent rolls
6 oz. softened cream cheese

*1/2 cup pumpkin
*1/2 cup granulated sugar

*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla

*2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

for the glaze, you will need:
2/3 cup powdered sugar

*4 tablespoons heavy cream or 1 tablespoon milk

*splash vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a baking sheet with a silipat or foil lining.

2. Combine cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, spices, flour and vanilla in a small bowl.

Unroll crescents keeping them shaped as rectangles (not individual triangles) and they them width wise on the baing sheet. (This should cover almost the entire length of a half sheet pan) Press to seal any holes. Cut 1/2 inch diagonal strips up each side of the dough. Next, carefully spread cream cheese filling down the center of the dough so that it is about 2-3 inches wide. Fold 1/2 inch dough pieces you cut so they are up and over filling, alternating sides will give you the braided pattern. (Remove any excess dough)

4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until filling is set and dough is golden in color. Cool on the baking sheet. Once danish has cooled, remove and add icing as listed below.

5. In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream/milk. You may need to add more cream/milk to get the desired consistency. Drizzle icing over danish. Cut into pieces and serve.