Rigatoni with Cheesy Pumpkin Sauce & Toasted Fisher ® Pecans
© John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc.- This creamy and comforting pasta dish is a perfect Fall meal. The mild nuttiness of pumpkin is unexpectedly delicious in savory preparations.
Serves:: 2
  • -1 tbsp. desired fat (oil, butter, or reserved cooking fat from another meal)
  • -1/4 onion, finely diced
  • -1 clove garlic, minced
  • -sage, thyme, & rosemary (1/2 tsp of each if using fresh, ¼ tsp of each if using dried)
  • -salt & pepper, to taste
  • -1/2 Cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • -1/2 Cup half & half cream
  • -1/2 Cup pumpkin puree
  • -2 Tbsp. cream cheese
  • -2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • -1/4 Cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • -1/4 Cup toasted, chopped Fisher® pecans (toast over medium heat in a dry skillet, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes)
  • -fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
  • -chopped, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken optional)
  • -6-8 oz. Rigatoni pasta
  1. In a small, dry skillet, toast ¼ Cup pecans over medium/low heat, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes until you begin to smell a nutty aroma. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Set aside.
  2. In a separate medium skillet, melt desired cooking fat and saute diced onion & garlic over medium heat, along with herbs and a pinch each of salt & pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add in 6-8 oz rigatoni pasta. Set a timer according to package instructions for al dente pasta.
  4. When onions are soft (after about 5 minutes), sprinkle ⅛ Cup flour evenly over them and stir to distribute. Allow to cook about 1 minute. Pour in ½ Cup chicken broth and ½ Cup half & half cream. Let bubble gently to thicken (about 3-5 minutes) until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Then reduce heat to low and mix in ½ Cup pumpkin puree, 2 Tbsp. cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, ¼ Cup sharp cheddar, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Stir to gently melt cheeses.
  5. Reserve ¼ Cup pasta water before draining noodles. Then add drained noodles directly to the sauce pan and toss to combine. (Add 1 Cup chopped, pre-cooked chicken at this stage, if desired.) If sauce seems overly thick, add in reserved pasta water and toss again.
  6. Sprinkle toasted, chopped pecans over the top and garnish with a few leaves of fresh thyme.
Recipe by Pretty Hungry at http://prettyhungryblog.com/2013/09/28/rigatoni-with-cheeeesy-pumpkin-sauce/