Pumpkin Cream Pasta with Crispy Pumpkin & Radicchio
I saw a recipe for Sweet Potato and Crispy Kale and thought this would be good with pumpkin. Sweet potatoes can be found in Italy, but it is very hard. They are not grown here and would have to be imported. Pumpkin on the other hand is abundant in Italy so I use it a lot as a substitute in recipes which call for Sweet potato.
Pumpkin Cream Sauce
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (I roasted in oven then, put in a sieve drained the water, and mash)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp of dry thyme or 1 tablespoon of fresh
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cups skim milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons Romano cheese
Couple leaves of radicchio
1 cup of thinly sliced pumpkin
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add radicchio and pumpkin slices, sesame oil, 2 tablespoons Romano cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat well with your hands. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, tossing 1-2 times while cooking, until crispy. *when putting on sheet keep radicchio on one side and pumpkin on the other they might need to be removed earlier. Remove and set aside.
Bring pasta water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions.
While they are cooking in the oven, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Add in shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt, cooking for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add in the dry thyme (if using fresh add later with the cheese). Increase heat to medium and add in flour, whisking constantly to create somewhat of a roux. Once the roux has turned golden, add in mashed pumpkin and milk, whisking to combine. It will take a few minutes of whisking to bring the mixture together. Let the mixture come to a simmer in order for it to thicken a bit, but be careful because it thickens quickly. If it becomes too thick, simply add a little milk to thin it out. Reduce heat to low and stir in Romano, remaining salt and pepper.
Once pasta is finished cooking, add the pumpkin sauce. Place in pasta bowl and top with crispy pumpkin and radicchio.