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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Everywhere

pumpkin-spice-latteIt’s that time of year. Pumpkin spice is everywhere and either you like it or you don’t. Personally, I enjoy a small slice of pumpkin pie or a small bowl of pumpkin soup, but beyond that… not so much. My husband, Benedetto, and oldest son, Petya, however, go overboard this time of year. They love it, they just love it.

There’s pumpkin products at Starbucks, McDonalds, every cooking aisle at the grocery store, pumpkin and leek ravioli, you name it. So here today, we have a couple of pumpkin recipes for all of our pumpkin afficionados: a very nice pumpkin pasta sauce and some fun pumpkin cranberry muffins. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorites?


Pumpkin Pasta Saucepastasauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
2 cups pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1?2 cup half-and-half
1?3-1?2 cup grated parmesan cheese (or Romano)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Heat the oil in a medium pan. Add the rosemary and fry until the rosemary begins to brown—about 2 minutes. Remove the rosemary from the oil and set aside.
To the hot oil add: pumpkin puree, garlic, half-and-half, cheese, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and one cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. If the sauce is too thick add more pasta water. Season to taste.
Toss hot pasta in the finished sauce and garnish with the fried rosemary.
pumpkin-cranberry-muffinsPumpkin Cranberry Muffins

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped


In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar; add the pumpkin and oil and mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the cranberries.
Bake at 400° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.


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