Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Guess What? -Pumpkin Pasta Surprise

I found this recipe on the Clean Eating Magazine Website and was really intrigued. The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious cookbooks were a lot of fun and this recipe reminded me a lot of those- veggies and pumpkin and other healthy tidbits hidden in a hearty tomato sauce. Now, while my family loves most vegetables and I don't have to resort to tricks to get them to eat, there are few we are not fond of. Zucchini is one of these. I admit it - we don't like zucchini it.This summer I even had a stash of them growing in my garden, hoping that the freshness would win me over. Nope- didn't like it.

This recipe really seemed like it would be up our alley, plus it had surprise in the name so that seemed fun.

First, I browned the turkey in the pan

Then added onions

After the onions became a bit translucent, I added shredded carrot, zucchini and diced tomato.

I deviated a bit from the recipe and decided to use a bit of wine to help scrap up the browned bits and add a bit of flavor. Anyone that knows me at all knows I can't just follow a recipe- makes my husband crazy. We had some red wine leftover from his birthday dinner and I thought it would be perfect. Who can't use a bit of Smoking Loon?

After adding the wine, I added the tomato sauce and stirred it in. I also decided that now would be a good time to season it up, so I added some basil, oregano and parsley to the pan.

After that, cubes of cream cheese were added in to make it nice and creamy. I used the fat free kind. :)

The sauce was a really thick, almost bolognese looking sauce. My expectations were high for this one.
 I served it with whole wheat rotini and sprinkled a bit of parsley on the top.

We sat at the table ready to taste and decide if the hearty sauce would hid e the flavor of the zucchini.


Then came the surprise, it hid the flavor of the zucchini because it had NO FLAVOR AT ALL. It was really rather sad.  We ended up adding some red pepper flakes to give it some heat, but in general the dish was way too mild. I was shocked considering the amount of additional spices I had added. I may give this another shot, but I will be pulling out all of my flavor big guns next time. But hey, we ate zucchini.

This is the original recipe with my changes in red.

Recipes Share font size: A A Posted on November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Pasta Surprise
1 13-oz pkg whole-grain pasta or brown rice pasta
1 lb lean ground turkey or chicken
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely shredded
1 Roma tomato, chopped into small chunks
1 small zucchini, finely chopped (peel left on)
1 roasted red pepper, chopped - we don't eat red pepper
1/2 cup red wine
15 oz pumpkin purée
1 10-oz jar pasta sauce
1 tbsp low-fat plain cream cheese
1 tbls basil
1tbls oregano
1 tbls parsley
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper


1.Cook pasta according to package directions (undercook it slightly as it will continue to cook a bit in the sauce).

2.Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, brown turkey for 7 to 10 minutes or until no pink remains. Drain any fat, return pan with turkey to stove and add onion and garlic. Sauté turkey mixture until onions are translucent. Add carrot, tomato and zucchini and sauté for about 3 to 5 minutes, until tender.

3.Add red pepper, pumpkin purée and pasta sauce (if mixture is too thick, add a bit of water). Cover and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, until zucchini is soft. Add cream cheese, then turn off heat and let cream cheese melt.

4.Add pasta and mix, cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrients per 1-cup serving: Calories: 402, Total Fat: 3.5 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 62 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 25 g, Sodium: 72 mg, Cholesterol: 38 mg



Big Fat Gini said...

Oh man. I had high hopes reading it...kind of a bummer. I might try tweaking it anyway!

And, Smoking Loon is a great red wine!

Elizabeth said...

Gini- just season it like crazy and it will probably help. The fact that none of us can breathe through our noses probably didn't make it any better.

Rich said...

Ha! Well, to be honest, I definitely prefer the experiments that end with an understated flavor than a bad flavor ... and this does look rather adventurous - I'm sure there's a way to make this outstanding ...