Spicy Pumpkin Pasta and A Chance to Win!

Fifteen minutes until the start of school when my eleven-year-old says, “Hey mom! Did you make Dillon something for lunch?”

What? Who’s Dillon? And why am I making him something for lunch?

Turns out, my twins shared the leftover pasta I’d sent them with a few friends at school the afternoon before, and they’d been given marching orders by a slew of fifth graders (led by the bold and expectatious Dillon) to bring them food forevermore. Pasta. It’s makes happy things happen.

October is National Pasta Month–the perfect excuse to feed your fifth graders (and family) something scrumptious. Pasta Fits….into a healthy diet, a busy lifestyle, and a tight budget. And in the autumn, pasta fits into every meal perfectly. It’s warm, hearty, and the perfect place to slather absurd amounts of creamy, spicy pumpkin sauce.

Looking for a good excuse to eat more pasta, invent a groovy new recipe, and maybe even win $1500 in groceries? The Pasta Presto Recipe Contest invites you to submit your own Pasta Presto Recipe: My Healthy Delicious Dinner Solution. Click on over and discover all the details to the contest, then make and submit a dish all your own! You’ll win a really good reason to slurp some noodles, and may even take home some serious winnings.

At our house nowadays? We’re cooking up this Spicy Pumpkin Pasta. A creamy, Mexican-inspired Chipotle-Pumpkin Sauce and chicken sausage makes quick work of dinner. You can pop this together and have it ready for your boca in less than 20 minutes. It’s full of good flavors, tons of nutrients, and a good amount of protein.

Dillon is going to be so excited.

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Spicy Pumpkin Pasta

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Sausage and a chipotle-cream pumpkin sauce coat mounds of curly cavatelli pasta in this quick, simple dinner dish! The Crema Mexicana and Queso Fresco should be fairly easy to find in most grocery stores. Check the refrigerated, Mexican foods section, or feel free to swap in whole milk or half-and-half for the Crema Mexicana, and crumble a bit of feta cheese over the top in place of Queso Fresco.

Ingredients:

8 ounces cavatelli or other pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 links chicken sausage, sliced
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup Crema Mexicana
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup Queso Fresco cheese
1/4 cup pepitas, roasted and salted
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package direction.

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown sausage in the oil until golden brown.

In a blender, combine pumpkin puree, Crema Mexicana, chipotle peppers, salt, maple syrup, cumin, and pumpkin pie spice. Blend until puree'd then pour in skillet and cook until warm. Toss in hot, cooked pasta.

Serve pasta topped with crumbled Queso Fresco, pepitas, and cilatro. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

This post was created for the National Pasta Association. I was compensated for the recipe to promote their Pasta Presto Recipe Contest, but all opinions included in this post are mine. For more great pasta recipes, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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