Sometimes the best meals are the ones you whip up out of the random stuff you have laying around your kitchen and in your fridge. Today, I had such a meal. These are the meals where you don’t use a recipe, but you use the intuition of the chef in you to feel things out, to put two and two together and think about what flavors will go well together, and what spices to use. Sometimes you gotta keep on tasting till you get it just right. Other times, your knowledge, skills, and gut will be spot on, and you’ll have a tasty meal without even having to taste test.
Today I made what I call Fall Fettuccine. A delicious, hearty, Autumn pasta dish infused with flavors reflecting the season and full of a variety of textures to keep you coming back for more.
It’s simply whole wheat fettuccine (always use whole wheat. It’s way better for you) tossed in a pumpkin, craisin, walnut sauce. I am not a fan of creamy, fatty sauces, so I try to sauce up my pasta with olive oil and whatever veggies, fruit or saute-able things I have available. This particular sauce has a soft, melt-in-your-mouth component with the pumpkin, a chewy, sweet component with the craisins, and a crunchy, nutty component with the nuts. Yum. I love the contrasting textures.
To make the sauce, I simply sauteed some frozen pumpkin pieces (high in Vit A, and very low cal) I had in my freezer (never throw away pumpkin meat, because it’s so much better than the canned stuff and you can do so much with it) with chopped craisins and walnuts, in some olive oil. I then added a couple splashes of pure maple syrup from the fridge, and sprinkled some ground ginger and cinnamon which I had in my baking drawer. Salt and pepper to taste, and there you have it! Feel free to add some parmesan cheese and herbs to zest things up, too. Yummmm.