Creamy Pumpkin Mini Penne with Crispy Pancetta and Sunflower seeds


I have a huge love for anything “Pumpkin”. I really try to incorporate pumpkin into some of my Fall recipes as much as possible. There is more to pumpkin than just your average “Fall” time pumpkin pies that we totally love and enjoy around this beautiful season. Me, I am a fall girl. My birthday is in October and just the smell and the feel of the fall season really awakens my true spirit. Most people don’t realize that you can use pumpkin not only in sweet dishes and desserts but, also in a ton of savory dishes as well. This recipe I came up with just “Screams” Fall to me and all the yummy FLAVORS that come with it. Pumpkin, pasta, sunflower seeds and a little bit of some salty “pancetta” to really bring this great comforting Fall pasta to life.

1 lb Mini Penne ( use GF penne if following a GF diet)
3/4 Pumpkin Purée
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
8 sliced of Pancetta chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter or Smart Balance
2 tablespoons flour or corn starch for GF peeps
3/4 cup fat free heavy cream
Salt pepper
Chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish
Shaved parmigiano Reggiano

Boil penne as directed salting the water before dropping the pasta.

Place your pancetta in a baking sheet. Place pancetta in the oven on 350 and cook for about 5 mins till pancetta is nice and crispy. Remove from oven, chop and set aside.

In a large skillet or pot melt butter and chopped garlic. Cook for 1 min and add your flour. Cook flour mixture for about 1 min just to cook the flour out a bit and then whisk in your cream. Keep whisking till sauce starts to bubble and thicken( about 3 mins) next whisk in you pumpkin purée a dash of salt and pepper.
Once pasta is cooked, drain and add to your sauce making sure to combine fully. Take your crispy chopped pancetta and roasted sunflower seeds( these already come pre-roasted in a large bag) and add too your pumpkin penne. Combine and then serve immediately adding some fresh chopped parsley and shaved parmigiano.

Cooking time: approx 12 mins

Serves 4 to 6 peeps



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