Always a good thought while you’re cooking dinner. I may have even said it out loud. As unappealing as my dinner looked though, it was entirely edible, if not knock-your-socks-off-incredible.
I have lots of canned pumpkin, but I never seem to use it. I made pumpkin bread for Halloween, but it takes lots of eggs, and while I keep meaning to make Emily’s pumpkin oatmeal I’ve never gotten around to it. Pumpkin is delicious, but when I had some leftover from baking I didn’t know what to do with it, and worried it would go to waste (like some hummus I made and then sort of forgot about, and have been fretting over ever since. I hate wasting food). I felt guilty every time I opened the fridge and saw the tupperware of pumpkin looking less and less appealing, but I just did not know what to do with it. Inspiration struck today in class though, when I noticed a girl eating fettuccine Alfredo. It smelled delicious, and I decided on the spot to have pasta for dinner. I don’t eat a lot of pasta, and I don’t have any sauce (there was an incident with my tomato paste, but we don’t need to go into it. Water under the bridge and all that), so I decided to invent a pumpkin pasta sauce recipe.
I looked at a couple of recipes for inspiration, but nothing struck my fancy, so I just winged it. I browned some chicken, and then put it in the oven to finish cooking (I like my chicken pretty dry), and then sauteed some garlic, and added the pumpkin. Things went downhill from there, because the skillet was too hot, and there was too much oil which made the pumpkin turn brown-ish. I didn’t have a great idea of what I wanted it to taste like, so I added red pepper flakes, and then salt and pepper, and then because it wasn’t terribly creamy-looking I glopped in some yogurt (I made yogurt this past weekend for the first time this semester). By now my pasta was done, so I drained it, and deemed my sauce “good enough”. I tossed in the chicken, and as an afterthought microwaved some frozen broccoli so there would be a veggie (I don’t have a leaf of fresh kale to my name. I have a bag of frozen, but it isn’t the same).
I was actually pleasantly surprised at the tastiness. It wasn’t incredible (I doubt I’ll be recreating this recipe, though I might try another variation- I still have all that pumpkin in the cupboard), but it was good. It paired nicely with cider too, and felt fall-ish and hearty. I have a bunch left over, so I’ll probably bring it for lunch tomorrow and Friday, and the thought of eating it again doesn’t make me sad the way it does with some experimental meals.
I ate dinner standing up in the kitchen, which is better than eating on my bed, but only barely. My roommates have set up camp at the dining room table, and it’s completely covered in their stuff. I’ll be glad when things settle down at school- I want the dining room back.