Pumpkin Pasta

Pasta–pumpkin combinations are overlooked but fabulous weeknight or special meals. Get pumpkin pasta recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When I told George I was planning to share pumpkin pasta recipes this week, his reaction was, “Nice, I always forget about pairing pasta and pumpkin.” It’s a combination even I tend to overlook. Growing up, pumpkin was reserved for jack-o’-lanterns and pie, and other winter squash was served “on the half shell,” drowning in butter and brown sugar. But these winter staples store so well you should have a collection to use in many sweet and savory dishes all winter: cookies, quick bread, soup, risotto—and pasta.

I offer two variations on pumpkin pasta here, one suited to a weeknight meal and a fancier plate that takes a bit more time to put together. I encourage you to look more at the techniques and think outside the ingredients listed in the recipes. Any firm-fleshed winter squash can be used in either recipe, and aromatics, alliums, herbs, cheeses, and pasta shapes can all be changed to suit your tastes. Whatever you use, orange winter squash creates a delicious pasta meal.
Learn to make Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin and Parmesan and Pumpkin–Goat Cheese Ravioli with Butter–Nut Sauce

Pantry Dinners

I love to play in the kitchen, but I also love easy meals. Get pantry-based recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
As much as I love to play in the kitchen, even I have days when I want an easy meal. But most people who eat my easy meals can’t believe food this good can be so easy. The secret is in what I’m emphasizing all month: a well-stocked basic pantry.

Some of my favorite easy meals developed from flavors I fell in love with while exploring other countries and cultures. My freezer always holds a bag of frozen shrimp, often destined for the grill. But on rainy, freezing, or just plain lazy nights, a cast-iron skillet and oven broiler fill in beautifully. Add some oil, a couple of spices, and a lot of garlic, and the meal brings back memories of Spanish tapas bars and gambas al ajillo. If I cooked up a pot of beans earlier in the week, or have a can stashed on the shelf, I can sip wine, think fondly of Italy, and have a surprisingly filling vegetarian or vegan pasta on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Learn to make Spanish Shrimp in Garlic Oil and Smashed Bean Pasta