Category Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Pasta with Roasted Veggies and Brown Sugar Sauce

This is one of my favorite meals I’ve made in a long time.  I’m really happy that I made a full recipe because I ended up being able to have dinner last night, lunch today, and a reworked version tonight for dinner.

I still had a lot of pumpkin leftover last night and pretty much all I have in the pantry is various flours, so I thought pasta sounded good.

I also had a ton of potatoes, onions, and half a sweet potato which seemed like it would go well with the pasta.

I didn’t have anything for a sauce, so I just used olive oil and brown sugar (soooo good)

One of my favorite things to do with leftover homemade noodles is saute’ them the next day in olive oil because they never seem to taste as good as they did the first night.  What made this even more amazing was that I added some brown sugar into the frying pan and let it carmelize on the vegetables and pasta.


The recipe I used is the same one I used a few weeks ago when I had people over, but I made a couple adjustments:

Pumpkin Pasta

combine 2 cups white flour, 2 tablespoons semolina, 3/4 tsp salt, and a dash of nutmeg in a food processor
-in a seperate bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup pumpkin and 1 medium egg
-briefly  mix together in the food processor
-add one more medium egg and continue to mix until a ball of dough forms
-let dough rest for 30 minutes

While this was resting, I made my roasted veggies.  I chopped 1 onion, 1 potato, and half a sweet potato, tossed them in olive oil and salt, and roasted them at 400 degrees C for 30 minutes.

After letting the dough sit, roll the dough through a medium thickness setting on your pasta machine and then use the fettuccine die.  If you don’t have a pasta machine, just simply roll out the dough and use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut thin strips.

Boil pasta for 5 minutes, then toss with olive oil, brown sugar, and the roasted veggies

pure deliciousness

All this was more than enough for 3 meals, probably more for a pereson who isn’t ravenously hungry by the time they come home at night.

I’m not going to attempt to figure out the price, mainly because I bought the flours before I started keeping track of costs.


Breakfast Dilemma

If you’ve been following me all month you know that I ran out of grocery money a few weeks ago.  I’ve actually been doing pretty well with this, except that today I ran out of breakfast food.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

I have 5 boxes of cereal but no milk, yogurt, oatmeal, bread, etc.

After taking a quick look through the pantry I decided to turn this month’s standby, barley, into breakfast.

By pairing it with pumpkin and adding honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg it turned out pretty great!  It doesn’t taste as sweet as it would if you added all the same ingredients to, say, oatmeal, but I’m okay with that.

current pantry inhabitants

I made enough for breakfast the next few days, so that will be especially nice to not have to prepare anything.

Sweet Pumpkin Barley

-boil 1 cup barley until it absorbs all the cooking water (I probably used 3 cups and this took ~20 minutes)

it's amazing how a little bit of pumpkin makes this look so much more appetizing

-once the water has been absorbed, add 1-1/4 cups canned pumpkin, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, and cinnmaon and nutmeg to taste

this makes me wish it was fall


Total Cost: $2.78

organic pumpkin: $1.25
organic barley: $0.78
organic brown sugar, honey, spices: no clue (let’s say AT MOST $0.75 (and I feel like that’s just being overly cautious)

I ate ~1/3 of this and still have plenty for two more breakfasts

When All Else Fails, Make Soup

today's ingredients


Today’s meal was a bit of a comedy of errors.

I came home very excited to make pumpkin barley with thick chunks of potato, chick peas, and onions stirred in.

I somehow ended up with this:

not what I had expected

What I ended up with was a pumpkin heavy stew that NEEDED those chickpeas and onions I roasted.  Fortunately, it tasted pretty good.

As I said, I really wanted barley.  I failed, miserably, at making that work.  I added far too much water, added the potatoes too early, and everything turned into mush.  I then thought that I could maybe make this into mashed potatoes and barley.  yeah, no.  Way too much water for that, and at this point I didn’t see an easy way to drain it.  I added the left over sauce from the pumpkin pasta in an attempt to thicken this up.  It did thicken a little bit, but not nearly enough to be anything other than thin mush.  As a last resort, I stirred in the pumpkin to see what would happen.  To my amazement, a thick stew formed.  I tasted it, though, and it needed something.  It frankly tasted lifeless.  I added chipotle chili powder and nutmeg.  This helped a ton, but still not enough.

needs a little green, huh?

While making the barley, I had put one of my favorite stand bys in the oven- chickpeas coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes.  For a little bit more flavor, i placed onion slices on top of the chick peas.

hummus bites

I let these roast at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, stirring them about 10 minutes in.

As I was pondering what my soup needed, I tried a bite of the two together.  It reminded me of this quirky cookie I made for my German class in high school that no one liked.  It was pumpkin and onion filled and delcious.

Behold, my dinner had been made.  Not at all what I expected, but sometimes that’s okay 🙂

I’m not sure I can come up with a price on this meal, since it’s all bits and pieces of previous meals.  My estimation is less than $3.00 total, which is nice considering I have enough left over for 3+ meals.

Dinner for Four

As per usual, I had found myself in a dilemma.  I had promised dinner to 3 people at 7, but was still in the chem building at 5:45.  Then, I invite a 4th, which exponentially raised my stress.

When I had gotten home at 6:15, I still had no clue what I was going to make for dinner.

I took a quick look into my pantry and saw a pile of canned pumpkin looming over the rest of my food at me.  Pumpkin pasta!  That seemed easy enough.

Then I began to worry about a side dish.  I had a spaghetti squash that had been adorning our bar, so I figured no better time than the present to roast it.  I quickly halved it, and started pre heating the oven.

Fortunately, my roommate came home at this point and offered to roast some tofu as a protein.  Not really sure what I would have done without her, since I didn’t have anything else to share 🙂

I also realized I lacked a sauce for the pumpkin pasta.  Doing a quick search for what kinds of sauce goes well pumpkin I realized another dilemma — my roommate is lactose intolerant so anything creamy would be bad.  Then I saw my plain yogurt!  I figured I could make a pseudo-alfredo with sage.  In the end, my roommate hated it and used olive oil + brown sugar, but everyone else liked it.

In my stress to get everything on the table, I forgot to take pictures 😦

Here are the recipes:

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

preheat the oven to 410 degrees F
cut the squash down the middle, scoop out the insides (but keep the seeds!)
place each half on a roasting pan, fill the pan ~1/4 inch with water
roast until the squash easily peels away with a fork and forms “spaghetti”
(It wasn’t ready when I wanted it to be, so I stuck it in the microwave for 2 minutes to finish it off)

Bonus: roast the seeds the same way you would with pumpkin seeds, they’re delicious

Pumpkin Fettuccine

In a food processor, mix 2 cups white flour, 2 tablespoons semolina flour, 3/4 teaspoons salt, and a dash of nutmeg
In a seperate bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup pumpkin puree and 1 medium egg
combine pumpkin mixture and flour, briefly
Add 2 medium eggs to the mixture and continue mixing until a ball of dough forms

I had to add more flour, probably ~1/4 cup because it was too moist

On a semolina dusted cutting board, knead the dough.  Let it rest for 30 minutes

After resting, cut the pasta to your desired size.  I used thickness 4 with a fettuccine die.

Boil until desired doneness, ~4 minutes for al dente

Pseudo alfredo sauce

Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan, adding 1/2 the amount of chicken stock you normally would for 2 cups of water
Add 1 cup plain yogurt
Add a dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, and pepper
whisk together
if sauce is too thin, whisk in flour until you achieve the desired thickness

Roasted tofu

place diced tofu on a roasting pan and toss in olive oil and salt.  Roast at 410 degrees F until brown and crispy ~20 minutes

This meal was the perfect amount for 3 runners and 1 heavy eater who each took 3rd helpings.  It would probably work great for 6 light eaters.  Bread would be a great accompaniment.

Total Cost: $4.89+ (but probably still less than $5.50)

squash: $2.79 (bought for $0.69/lb)
pumpkin pasta: $1.55 (pumpkin – $0.45, flour – 0.50, semolina – $0.10, eggs – $0.50)
tofu: (I actually have no idea, I never buy tofu)
sauce: $0.50 (used about 1/4 of the yogurt I made)

Pasta is the perfect meal for cooks fast and is universal.  I didn’t end up serving it until about 7:30, so if you can make the dough ahead of time, that will save a ton of time.  Roasting the spaghetti squash took the majority of the time.