it's been so long since i've done a recipe post, so let's break up the talk about weddings with one. this was my first time cooking with pumpkin and i have to say, it was some pretty easy and delicious results. however, working with something like pumpkin or squash can be a little labor intensive, so i chose to make this on a friday night - i had more time to peel and dice a whole pumpkin, ya know. i had this pumpkin sitting in our apartment for a bit and wanted to do something with it, and this recipe is what i found. most of the ingredients are ones you would have on hand, and i like that the onion and pumpkin can keep for a couple of weeks. if things come up in your schedule, no worries - you can always make it in a few days (i always hate it when i buy produce and it goes bad because i run out of time to use it). and for the thyme, remember, you can always use dried thyme or another savory herb if you're in a pinch (rosemary, sage, etc.)
probably the least appealing part of this recipe is dicing the pumpkin. use the biggest knife you have for sure, and again i'll plug my peeler - it made peeling this bad boy look like child's work. like i said, i made this on a friday night, so i had more time on my hands. i got home early, diced it up, and sliced my onion very thin before putting them into the refrigerator. then, when the time to get cooking, they were all ready for me. i love it when i have time to prepare ingredients like that, breaking up the cooking process always makes it seem to go faster.
the first step is to caramelize the onions in some butter with a little salt and pepper - about 15 minutes. when that's done, set them aside.
the second step is to cook and soften the pumpkin in the same pan - add a 1 1/2 cups of water to the pan, the pumpkin, and a few thyme sprigs, partially cover and cook for about 8 minutes, perhaps a little less, until the pumpkin is softened.
then, toss the onions, pumpkin, thyme leaves (in addition to the thyme cooked with the pumpkin), cheese, and some butter in with the pasta, which should have been cooked in a separate pot while this was going on. before draining the pasta be sure to reserve some of the water it was cooked in - you can use this to toss with the ingredients to loosen up the sauce and help it adhere to the pasta (i used 1/2 a cup). you'll also see i used cavatelli since it's what i had on hand, instead of pappardelle. it worked just as well for me, so don't worry about the noodle type you use for this dish. any will do.
serve with a little more cheese or black pepper as a topping, and a savory, warm winter's night dinner is your reward for you and your peeler's hard work. enjoy! we loved this one.