PUMPKIN ALLA VODKA PASTA
Author: Jamie Vespa MS, RD
Recipe type: Entree, Vegetarian
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 35 mins
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
- 4 oz. tomato paste
- ½ cup vodka
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 lb. dry rigatoni pasta (or paste shape of choice)
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (omit if making plant-based, or use nutritional yeast)
- Fill a stock pot with water and heat over high. Season liberally with salt and bring to a boil while you prep other ingredients.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven or large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Arrange mushrooms in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until bottom side is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Toss and continue cooking 2 to 3 more minutes, until softened. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and onion to pan. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg; cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add tomato paste and stir to evenly coat onion. Continue to cook, stirring often, until paste is deep red and starting to brown on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Add vodka to deglaze pan, stirring to scrape up browned bits of tomato paste. Cook 1 minute to allow some of the alcohol to cook off.
- Stir in pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and sautéed mushrooms; reduce heat to low.
- Once pasta water is boiling, add pasta and cook until almost al dente. Add kale during final minute of cooking.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked pasta and kale to skillet with vodka sauce. Stir in pasta cooking water in ½ cup increments until sauce turns smooth and glossy and coats each piece of pasta (I used 1 cup total). Stir in fresh thyme leaves and garnish with Parmesan, if desired.