This is one of my favorites. The pumpkin and gorgonzola go wonderfully together, and it's low in fat. Any short pasta will work in this dish, but be sure to use a mild Gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese so it doesn't overpower the other ingredients. If you don't have fresh sage, dried works just fine, but reduce the amount to only ¼ teaspoon.
- 1 pound uncooked pennette (small penne)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 3/4 pound whole mushrooms)
- 2 cups vertically sliced onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
- fresh sage sprigs (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Keep warm. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic; cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Combine chopped sage and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and water, stirring with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture and cheese to milk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cook 2 minutes or until thick and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in pumpkin, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Add pasta and pumpkin mixture to mushroom mixture; toss well to combine. Garnish with fresh sage sprigs, if desired.