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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chili Linguine with Pumpkin Chocolate Sauce

"Any ideas for chili linguine?" my brother Marty wrote to me.  There is nothing more I like than to make up a recipe ... so, yes, yes I do have ideas.  I sent him two ideas- off the top of my head I wrote the basic recipes for him and hoped for the best.  When the weekend hit, I promptly made both ideas to test them out (I had a busy week, testing a new recipe was not an option until the weekend.)

Jenni sent me a text today to say the one they made was awesome (the Chili Linguine with Lemon Shrimp).  They even sent me photo- go check it out. 

But back to the pumpkin mole sauce;  this is definitely not a true mole in any sense of the word mole, the only real similarity is chocolate ingredient, but it just sounds cool!  And it works well, it's a great fall recipe and a nice change to regular tomato spaghetti sauce.  I'm pretty happy with this creation.  The goat cheese is key, do not substitute Parmesan or anything else for that matter.  The goat cheese complete softens the bite and brings all the flavors to life.  Give it try and let me know if it makes you fat and happy!

Tips and tricks:  I always say to make your own pasta when possible.  This recipe was based on the Chili Linguine (boxed variety) that my brother had- so I added the cayenne and chili powder to make up for using regular pasta.  If you happened to have the chili linguine- you may want to taste this without the cayenne first, as it may not be needed.

Chili Linguine with Pumpkin Chocolate Sauce

Roast 1 small pumpkin  (carefully cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds (roast them with salt until crispy), drizzle with olive oil and about 2 tbls of brown sugar.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet, bake at 400 degrees until fork tender.)

Sautee in olive oil until caramelized:
1 large shallot. thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Dash of chili powder
Fresh black pepper

Scoop the roasted pumpkin out of its shell, and add to the shallots.  Mash the pumpkin with a wooden spoon.

1/2 cup heavy cream (or use white wine)

Blend with an immersion blender (or place in an upright blender).
Add broth to thin out
....about 1 cup of broth** (chicken or vegetarian) Or white wine
   **may need more or less depending on desired consistency

Add 1-3 Tbls of chopped bittersweet chocolate (try it with 1 tbls first- you can always add more but you can't add less) and 1 tbls butter.  Stir until melted.  Keep warm over the lowest flame.

In the meantime, cook the  linguine until al dente.  Warm a drizzle of olive oil in a medium -size fry pan.  Drain, toss the linguine lightly with the olive oil and then add a few scoops of the pumpkin sauce.  Toss.

To plate:  Use a pair of tongs to pinch a scoop of pasta from the pan, and place in the middle of the plate.  Drizzle with more pumpkin sauce and a little olive oil- crumble goat cheese and few shavings of  chocolate on top a d roasted pumpkin seeds (optional).
Enjoy immediately.

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