“Béchamel” Pumpkin Pasta

 

 

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Pumpkin, Pleadings, & Pasta. October will be featuring all kinds of fun ways to dress up the basic ingredient of pumpkin!

 

Today’s feature is something I whipped up when I was craving a festive pasta alfredo. Now, a few words on alfredo. Since I eat dairy free, it’s not something I can enjoy regularly. Further, it’s usually calorie ridden, heavy, and isn’t the most authentic Italian cuisine.

 

Enter bechamel. For those of you that don’t know what a bechamel sauce is, it’s actually a foundational component of a lot of french cooking.  Traditionally it is a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk, and infused with herbs sometimes.

 

I started with a bechamel-esque base (for those purists, it’s far from the original since I used almond milk and not a lot of butter), and built from there. The result was light and satisfying, yet comforting. It makes for a great addition to a cozy fall evening.

 

“Béchamel” Pumpkin Pasta

By Pleadings & Pasta 2013

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

2-3 oz of goat cheese

1 tablespoon of butter

1.5 tsp of flour

Several cloves of garlic

A few springs of fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

a dash of cinnamon

Pasta of your choice

 

1. Melt butter and whisk in flour. Add garlic cloves (crushed)

2. Heat through for 2 minutes then add almond milk and rosemary and bring to a boil

3. Once fragrant, add pumpkin puree and simmer until thickened.20131003-185523.jpg

4. Add goat cheese at the end, salt and pepper to taste and whisk smooth.

 

 

20131003-185536.jpg5. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and add immediately into the “bechamel” pumpkin sauce.

6. Serve hot and enjoy!

Feel free to test run the recipe with other herbs too, including sage which is always a nice compliment to pumpkin.

Eat with all of your heart,

G

Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza

For those of us with our own gardens, July means the advent of zucchini season! Before you know it your garden will be overpopulated with these bright green gems, and there are so many ways to incorporate them into your recipes.

So, in honor of zucchini season, I wanted to share one of my favorite pizza recipes adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe. The dough I use incorporates semolina flour which adds a nice chewiness to the dough. Serve piping hot with a side of olive oil and herbs to dip it into! photo 2

 

Pizza Dough

1 cup semolina flour

1 cup all-purpose white flour

1/4 tsp. sugar

2 tbsp dry yeast

dash of salt

fresh herbs chopped (optional)

Toppings

1 Yellow Squash

1 Zucchini Squash

Goat Cheese

1 Lemon

1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Be careful, if water is too hot it will kill the yeast. Sprinkle in the sugar afterwards to encourage the raising of the yeast. Let raise for 10 minutes.

2. Mix flours, salt, and herbs in a bowl.

3. Add the yeast and water to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated and form into a ball. Add more flour if the dough feels too sticky. Cover with a towel and let sit for 20 minutes. After first rise, punch the dough and let rise again for another 15 minutes.*

4. Add flour to your rolling surface, and roll the dough to your desired thickness.

5. Place the dough into a pan that has been oiled with olive oil. *Note, you can do the second rise in the pan itself if you prefer a more fluffy dough.

6. Crumble goat cheese onto the dough. Layer very thin slices of the squash and zucchini on top of the goat cheese.

7. Zest the lemon on top of the pizza, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and bake for 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees.

8. Remove when dough is a light brown color on the bottom and is nice and crispy.

 

 

Eat with all of your heart,
G

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

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After just getting back from the grocery store, I suddenly had a craving for chocolate cake. I took a look at what I had purchased, what I had in my pantry, and didn’t have the ingredients I needed for a classic cake. So, I decided to accept the challenge and find a recipe that put together all of the ingredients I had on hand to make a rich, tasty treat.

Enter Miss Nigella Lawson. To be honest, I was skeptical about using olive oil in a dessert, but the final product was divine. Moist, flavorful, and not overly sweet. You can find her Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Recipe here. (Note there is a gluten free version as well!)

However, I made a few Pleadings & Pasta adjustments I would like to suggest to my readers.

First, I love my cake to be extra chocolatey so I added an additional tablespoon of cocoa, and also after cooking the cake for about 15 minutes, I topped the cake with dark chocolate chips. Don’t put them on top before cooking it a bit or else they will sink to the bottom and burn to the baking dish. The extra chocolate makes the dessert even more indulgent!

Lastly, I sauteed some fresh berries in sugar and a little bit of water to make an outstanding topping for this rich cake. I think this cake could be even better with a dash of espresso. Definitely will be trying that on the next bake around!

Eat with all of your heart,

G