I love pumpkin! So when I was searching for a recipe to try, the Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce that I found in the Food Network magazine really stood out to me. Plus, I had just steamed a pumpkin I had found on sale, so I had fresh pumpkin on hand that needed to be used.
However, what I did not have was tortellini and when I went to the store it was not on sale. Since I did have other pasta on hand, I decided not to buy tortellini this time. I also felt like it needed more vegetables and some protein in order to make it a more complete meal. Here are the ingredients that I used:
- 1/2 package of mini penne (I made the whole box but felt like that was too much pasta once the sauce was made so I only used half--I will probably make a pasta salad out of the rest of the pasta for a separate lunch or dinner)
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/4 of a sweet onion, finely diced
- 1/4 of an orange bell pepper (I had this color on hand otherwise I would have used whatever color I had)
- 1/4 of a poblano pepper (I would not necessarily go out of my way to get this one to add--I added it because I had it on hand. I think I would have preferred an Italian pepper next time)
- 1 cup steamed, fresh pumpkin (I would have used canned if I did not have fresh pumpkin on hand--but now that I have found how easy it is to steam pumpkin I love keeping it on hand during the autumn months when it is in season)
- Pinch of nutmeg (I wish I had had fresh nutmeg on hand but I could not find it anywhere so I had to use some ground nutmeg that I had on hand)
- 1 can of low fat evaporated milk (I am trying to eat healthier and this seemed like a healthier option compared to heavy cream)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I felt the added vegetables require more parmesan cheese)
- 1/2 to 3/4 pounds of shrimp cleaned and peeled
- Pepper and salt to taste (the cheese is salty but I personally did not want to not salt the vegetables as they cooking in the beginning)
- Chopped fresh parsley and chives for garnish (I happened to have both of these on hand otherwise I do not think I would have specifically picked them up for this recipe)
For the directions, I followed the ones in the recipe fairly closely. I added the extra vegetables when the recipe called for the shallot. I added the shrimp right after I added the parmesan cheese so they would be just done when I was ready to serve the dinner.
I will definitely make this recipe again. It was a big hit at my house. Neither my dad or I thought that the evaporated milk had a negative effect on the sauce--so I would definitely use that again in the future. The one thing that I would change is that I would cook the vegetables longer so they got softer. The time in the recipe was only taking into account the time it would take to soften one shallot. Peppers in general take longer--but the amount of vegetables I used meant I should have increased the time.
The shrimp was a big hit. It came out wonderfully after cooking in the sauce.