Pumpkin-Poblano Pasta with Baby Bok Choy + Shrimp

Ch_6_Pumpkin_Poblano_Bok_Choy_86682.jpg

Fall is on its way, and I'm definitely already starting to see all things pumpkin popping up—from pumpkin lattes to pumpkin pancakes to pumpkin [fill-in-the-blank].

I am in full support of the pumpkin movement, but I find that all these things have a similar flavor.

Don't get me wrong: I love pumpkin, but I also know it can be paired with more than just cinnamon.

Because of this, I wanted to share this Pumpkin-Poblano Pasta from my book Meat On The Side. It combines pumpkin puree with peppers and shrimp for a creamy, sweet, and spicy sauce.

And the entire recipe only uses ten ingredients and is done in about the time it takes for the pasta to cook!

Pumpkin-Poblano Pasta with Baby Bok Choy + Shrimp

servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 poblano chile
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound bucatini
  • 4 baby bok choys, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 16 jumbo shrimp (16/20 size), peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions (green parts only)
  • ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

  1. Use the broiler or gas burner on the stovetop to roast the poblano: Simply place it under or over the flame (use tongs if you’re working on the stovetop) and cook until mostly black on all sides—5 to 8 minutes, turning as needed. Place the poblano in a plastic food storage bag; seal the bag. When the poblano is cool, rub off the skin with a paper towel. Cut the poblano open lengthwise and then remove its stem and seeds.
  2. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat for cooking the pasta. While it is heating, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the shallots and garlic and sauté until tender—about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and 1 teaspoon of the salt until incorporated; then stir in the pumpkin, mixing well, and cook for 3 minutes more.
  3. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a food processor or blender. Add the poblano and process to a smooth puree. Spoon the mixture back into the skillet. Stir in about two-thirds of the cheese along with the nutmeg and cinnamon (you’ll use the rest of the cheese for a garnish). Keep the skillet over low heat while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  4. Cook the pasta in the now-boiling water until al dente according to the package directions. When it is done, drain it, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a second large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the bok choy, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and cook until tender—3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the bok choy to a medium bowl. Add the shrimp to the same skillet and sprinkle them with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; sauté until pink—about 5 minutes, turning once. Return the bok choy to the skillet and heat through.
  6. Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the pumpkin sauce; toss to coat the pasta. If the sauce seems too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta cooking water until it has your desired consistency.
  7. Serve immediately, dividing the pasta among 4 dinner plates and topping each portion with one-quarter of the bok choy and 4 shrimp. Scatter the scallions, pumpkin seeds, and remaining cheese evenly over the tops.

Notes:

  • Keep It Simple - (1) Substitute kale, radicchio, or cabbage for the bok choy. (2) Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream instead of the goat cheese. Also add a sprinkle of Parmesan to bump up the flavor if you have it on hand. (3) If you don’t want to bother with roasting the poblano chile, simply seed and chop it, and then sauté it with the shallots and garlic: a quick alternative for a similar taste.
  • 50/50 - This pasta is as good without shrimp as it is with; simply omit the shrimp to give vegetarians a satisfying meal. If you’re making some veggie versions and some shrimp ones, just cook the shrimp separately and add to the plates you want.
  • Family Friendly - Leave off the bok choy for pickier eaters, or puree it up with the rest of the pumpkin-poblano mixture and they will never know it’s in there.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!

 

You might also like these recipes:

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball_SMALL(1).jpg

After eating my 124,562nd Everything Bagel with cream cheese, I had an epiphany.

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball 1.jpg

“I should make this into a cheese ball!”

“Better yet, a PUMPKIN cheese ball!!”

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball 2.jpg

And thus the Pumpkin Cheese Ball was born.

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball 3.jpg

I had seen different versions of pumpkin cheese balls on Pinterest.

But most of them involved hours of wait time and a series of rubber bands, which all seemed far above my pay grade (or attention span!).

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball 4.jpg

There had to be a better way.

And guess what?! I found it!

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball 5.jpg

Don't worry, I'll share my secret...

Basically you create a mouthwatering cheese ball made of goat cheese, cream cheese, sundried tomatoes, and scallions.

Cover it in Everything Bagel seasoning, then shape it with a chopstick or spoon.

And for the cutest final effect, top it with a pumpkin stem.

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball 6.jpg

It’s seriously that easy, and it’s done in 20 minutes.

And once you set it on the table, it will last about the same amount of time!

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball 7.jpg

Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheese Ball

servings: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 5 ounces herbed goat cheese (such as Boursin)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup everything bagel spice mix
  • 1 stem from small pumpkin or bell pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the cream cheese, goat cheese, chives, and sundried tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor or mixer, then process to combine until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Transfer the cheese mixture to a piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic along with your hands to form the mixture into a short, squat ball, then place the plastic-wrapped ball in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the stem from the bell pepper or pumpkin; if you use a pumpkin, it’s easiest to cut off the whole top of the pumpkin straight across, then cut around the base of the stem (rather than trying to break the stem off).
  4. Remove the cheese ball from the plastic and transfer it to a small plate. Pour/sprinkle the spice mix all over the cheese ball, pressing it in so that it sticks and coats the entire ball.
  5. Use a chopstick or spoon handle to press indented lines into the ball that resemble the creases on a pumpkin, then use your hands to smooth and reshape the ball.
  6. Insert the stem into the center of the top of the ball. Serve with your favorite crackers, and enjoy!

Notes:

  • If you’re having difficulty with Steps 4 or 5, try putting your cheese ball back in the refrigerator or freezer to chill longer. It will firm up and may be easier to work with.
  • If you don’t have a pumpkin or bell pepper, you can also use a 2-inch piece of broccoli stem; this also looks great!
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
Everything Spice Pumpkin Cheeseball 8.jpg
 

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!

 

You might also like these recipes:

Pumpkin Butter

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, which means my 10-day "Meat On The Side Countdown to Thanksgiving" is officially coming to an end.

Aw, no need to cry! I know, I know--it’s a sad day--but I promise there will be more Meat on the Side recipes in the very near future!

And as a celebration of our last ten days together, I'm giving you one more recipe--quick and easy enough that you'll still have time to make it before Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! 

I’m showing you how to whip up a pumpkin-infused butter, perfect for slathering on all those biscuits, dinner rolls, and crescent rolls.

Just start by letting some regular unsalted butter come to room temperature.

Whip it up in your food processor and then combine it with pumpkin puree, vanilla, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice.

Suddenly you have a unique holiday butter that makes everything taste special. 

Enjoy!

And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Pumpkin Butter

servings: 1 1/2 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Add the pumpkin puree to a small pot over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until it reduces by almost half—about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whip the butter in a food processor until it is smooth. Add the cooked pumpkin puree along with the maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract to the food processor. Continue to puree until this mixture is smooth and combined.
  3. Transfer the butter from the food processor to an airtight container for storage in your refrigerator. When you are ready to use it, allow it to warm to room temperature, then spread on your favorite bread or toast.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!

 

You might also like these recipes:

Pumpkin Polenta with Brussels Sprouts + Sausage

 

 

My husband is always a good sport when it comes to being my go-to taste tester.

 

 

 

 

 

He eats random meals made up of four totally different things--recipes I tested earlier that day. 

 

 

Read More