For the past couple of weeks, Keith and I have been “dieting”. He has weigh-ins at work and we would like for him to pass. In our house, dieting means that I just try to make meals that are healthier than usual….and it seems to be working, so far (for Keith at least).
I was browsing the internet because I’ve gotten bored with the healthy recipes I’ve already made and I found a Rachael Ray recipe on the Food Network site. I was searching for recipes that use pumpkin, because as you know, I’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately. I figured if you can cook with pumpkins for breakfast and desserts, you should be able to incorporate it into a main dish.
The recipe got great reviews because it was tasty and you usually have everything in your pantry already, so I figured if it turned out nasty then Keith could eat his hot pockets that he has in the fridge and I’d dig through the freezer for leftovers. But, luckily, there was absolutely no need for that 🙂 I am utterly thrilled with this recipe. (I didn’t even eat my serving with the pasta!) It reminds me a lot of a butter chicken sauce that we get at a local Indian restaurant here in Bahrain. The best part is that if you portion it out into 6 servings, the pasta sauce is only 87 calories each…..that’s what I call dieting!
If you click on the link in the paragraph above, you’ll see Rachael Ray’s version of this recipe, but I tweaked it for the stuff I had in my kitchen.
For the Sauce, I used: 4 cloves garlic, 2 cups chicken stock, 1 can pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon Frank’s hot sauce, and a dash of salt, pepper, cinnamon, and all-spice.
I sautéed 4 cloves of garlic that I had put through my garlic press for a few minutes in about a teaspoon of olive oil. When they started sticking to the pan, I poured in the chicken broth, pumpkin, and the milk. I stirred it around til the mixture was nice and smooth. While I was stirring, I sprinkled in the cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper. I wasn’t going to add the Frank’s hot sauce, but I decided to at the last-minute (it was a good decision…). I let it simmer for about 5 or 6 minutes to let it thicken up. While it was simmering, I thought it looked a little boring, so I added some Herbs de Provence to them and it added the perfect savoriness.
While it was simmering, I boiled some pasta that I had in the cabinet. I added some frozen chopped spinach I had in the freezer to the pasta while it was boiling.
As usual, I was skeptical about this recipe, but it was a total success and I think it now has a permanent spot among my comfort food recipes!