Pumpkin tomato baked pasta is just the one pot meal you have been looking for this fall. An easy and quick comforting meal for your family with the deliciousness of pumpkin puree and tomatoes coming together in a silky rich sauce. Layer your favorite pasta in this sauce and loads of buffalo mozzarella to treat yourself and your loved ones to this meal.
Every year I tell myself I am going to try something new. See a new place. Learn something new. Read a new book. Ok. May be read 30 new books. Teach D something new. And yes, eat something new. Most of the times I end up finishing my self assigned challenge quite happily before the new year comes.May be that’s coz fundamentally I am an adventurer. I am sure you must be scoffing at that! Adventurer? This little girl who’s the obviously doting mom and spends all her time in the kitchen? Adventurer indeed! Well snort not dear child, as Rumi said in T
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”
And cooking in my little kitchen is what excites my spirit. Daddy long legs P on the other hand is the quieter, stronger, calmer version of me. If I am the proverbial unwilling child, unwilling to listen to any reason except my own, P is always the one who thinks of others first. He is also less likely to adapt well to change. Be it something major or something simple like food. This fall, I vowed I will introduce my family to pumpkin (in the non traditional Indian curry way of course) and make them fall in love with it.
Might I gloat a little please? Pretty please? Well say hello to the latest fall favorite of the Singh family. Pumpkin. Pumpkin. Pumpkin. I must confess here though that I started this pumpkin adventure quite hesitantly. I was sure they will hate it or worse wont even try it! I hate food going to waste so the entire time I was making this, I was thinking of an easy alternate dinner plan. Thankfully I have quite a few trustee easy 30 min meals in my repertoire. Have you seen them yet? So many dishes as good as take outs but so much healthier.
As it turns out, the moment I opened the lid, and they saw the bubbling cheese and the fragrance of fresh basil and just the teeniest hint of cinnamon hit them, things didn’t matter. In fact, at this point I think I could have gotten away with even bitter gourd instead of pumpkin. Kidding. Bitter gourd is where even I draw my line!
So anyways to start with, how pretty is this Le Creuset cocotte!!?? I finally took the leap and bought one. It had been on my list for way too long and this month I felt like treating myself to this much deserved pot for all the sweat and hard work I do in the kitchen (and don’t get me started about all the other hard work I do at work). So anyways, this one pot pumpkin tomato baked pasta seemed like a perfect way to welcome fall into our lives. What could be better! The sauce is rich. Its vibrant. Its packed with flavor. And nope, its definitely not weird! Promise.
As Indians we usually have pumpkin in curries and lentils. In my hometown we serve a lentil curry with vegetables and pumpkin called dalma. I have an old post of it on the blog, but I definitely need to do that dish justice and take new pics! Needless to say we put tomatoes in the curry and it tastes very good. So I thought of adding some tomato puree to this pumpkin sauce too. And also well coz I wanted to camouflage the pumpkin a bit. (blame those two non adventurous foodies at my place). Result: Silky smooth sauce with just the right amount of sweetness of pumpkin merging perfectly with the natural acidity of tomatoes. Stir in a little bit of fresh cream, layer with some Parmesan and topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella, this was just incredibly delicious! I am sure we are going to getting repeat orders for this one pretty soon. And the sauce lends itself beautifully to being baked with some pasta. But you could just as easily toss up some spaghetti or penne in the sauce and serve it. It would be pretty dang delicious that way too! This is just the kind of meal you will see in the next few months, thanks to fall.
Pumpkin tomato baked pasta is just the beginning my friends. With fall here, can you blame me if I indulge in delicious one pot meals or slow cooker recipes that scream comfort!??
Things to remember while making a baked pasta dish:
- Always undercook your pasta – boil for just 5 mins and drain. It keeps cooking in the sauce while being baked and you really dont want over cooked mushy pasta!
- Choose the night shape of pasta. No noodles please.
- Definitely add cheese. You can make a bechamel too and use that to layer with the pumpkin tomato sauce.
- Season carefully (cheese has salt!) and always taste and adjust before you start baking.
- Let it rest for atleast 5 mins before digging in!
Talking of planning, I have started using Pinterest way more seriously now, Which translates into “I give it ten minutes of my time, finally”. But fact though, I absolutely love pinning beautiful dishes on Pinterest and most often it serves as my to do list of recipes! If you haven’t followed me there yet or aren’t pinning my dishes yet, I would so appreciate if you could take out that 1 min and start pinning. And if you do pin, please pin the long image just before the recipe. I hope its not weird that I asked..Nah. I know its not weird coz who else can I ask if not you amazingly supportive folks here, right!? Much love! <3
Now please go, dust that Dutch oven of yours. Its time to give those yogurt and cereal bowls and smoothies a break and indulge in richer, more luscious dinner options. Weeknight. Or weekend. This bowl of pumpkin tomato baked pasta hits all the right notes! Just play your favorite music, light up some candles and tuck into this comforting bowl of pasta with your man. As Rumi said “I don’t want learning, or dignity, or respectability. I want this music, and this dawn, and the warmth of your cheek against mine.”
And this pumpkin tomato baked pasta. My dear friends, you will definitely want this.