Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hot Dates on Nights Alone

Simply because my husband works most nights (and I'm stuck at home with no car) does not mean I don't have incredibly hot dates.  They just happen to be with my kitchen stove.

You sexy beast, you.
The past two days, we've spent a lot of time together.  My goal for this year is to make a lot of edible Christmas gifts.  (My other goal is not to keep all of them for myself.  In my stomach.)  I'm currently working on making a blackberry-infused vodka, and yesterday I made two kinds of jam, and applesauce.  Well, the applesauce is for me.  Hey, it's not my fault that it doesn't keep very long.

Today, I fell a little bit more in love.

Why, you ask?  How could you fall even more in love with cooking?

Several reasons.

1) I'm continually finding new and amazing ways to enjoy pumpkin through the last vestiges of fall.
2) I caramelized onions for the first time.

Enough said.

I made Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta, and it was delicious.  Thank you, Pinch of Yum.  Thank you.  This is a thick, creamy, filling pasta.  And it has bacon.  I for one, needed nothing more to be said.  And for those among you who think that pumpkin and pasta should definitely not go together?  Well, you may be crazy.  And you also may not have heard the word "bacon."

Not just for pies, friends.

Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta, with Caramelized Onions
adapted from Pinch of Yum
(tripled original recipe to serve 6, because who doesn't love leftovers?)

6 c. dried pasta (original recipe called for shells, but I didn't have any and used rotini)
1 can pumpkin puree
4 oz cream cheese
3/4 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 c. cooked, crumbled bacon
2 small-medium onions, caramelized*

*Original recipe suggests sliced scallions or green onions (would need 3/4 c. to go with above proportions), but I really, really loved the buttery sweetness of the caramelized onions.  For me, it made the dish.

Cook pasta according to packaging, drain, and return to pot.  Turn heat to low.

Stir in pumpkin, cream cheese, evaporated milk, heavy cream, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Stir over low until cream cheese has melted.  Top with the bacon and onions.

For leftovers, keep the bacon and onions in separate airtight containers to maintain crispiness.

Tolstoy also approves this recipe.

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