Roasted Pumpkin and Shallots with Rigatoni and Goat Cheese
Updated: Nov 20
Ripped but revised from an old Martha Stewart recipe, this has the quintessential heartiness and taste so craved in October! The 2" chunks of roasted pumpkin balance with the oversized rigatoni pasta and the longways quarter slices of shallots roast up so creamy they are nearly liquid. There is just enough of butter to brown some sage leaves, then some pasta water joins with the goat cheese for the creamy finish.
Sugar pumpkins are also called pie pumpkins. They are small, the flesh is sweet and tender, and the skin is thin and easy to peel with a traditional vegetable peeler.
To easily peel the pumpkin, cut the ends off, cut into pieces easier to handle. Be sure to judge your 2" pieces in your final dice and try to be as uniform as possible.
A trick I learned was to simply cut the pumpkin into half moons, then 2" cubes. Then just use a sharp knife to cut the ends with peel and seeds and you get uniform pieces:
Peel the shallots and slice longways by quarters. Another time and tears saver: peel the shallots after cutting them. Quick and easy!
Grocery list: I recommend 1-2 pumpkins totaling about 4-5 lbs, 4-8 shallots (as with garlic, I err on the plus side of shallots 😂), 5 Oz of goat cheese, 12 Oz of excellent rigatoni.
Coat the pumpkin cubes and shallots in about 3-4 Tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread on two cookie sheets and roast at 450° for 30 minutes or so. At the 15 minute mark, toss a bit and rotate the pans. You can choose to roast some sage leaves (Martha suggests it) but in my experience they burnt up and may not work properly this way. If you choose to roast the sage leaves, choose the hugest leaves and remove at the 15 minute mark.
In this photo I am roasting sage leaves AND shitake mushrooms with the pumpkin and shallots.
Make sure the pumpkin is fork tender at the finish.
Cook the rigatoni to el dente.
If you are adding sage at the end: In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sage, full leaf or lightly chopped. Let the butter foam up and the leaves get brown.
Otherwise, add the 2 T butter to the cooked pasta, add the goat cheese, 1/4 cup of the pasta water, and the roasted vegetables, and combine. All set!
Salt and pepper at the table is absolutely required.
At a leftover night we added homemade sun dried tomatoes and it was fantastic.
Like all things mac n cheese, reheat in microwave on the defrost setting so the bechemel does not sieze and thereby separate the cheese.
Serves dinner portions for 4, easily. As a side dish, serves the entire pot luck family affair.