After the last couple of weeks’ sweeter side of pumpkin with the Pumpkin Spice Smoothie and Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites, I thought it was time to show the versatility of this nutrient rich fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit) with a savory pasta dish.
This sauce is so creamy without even a dash of the cream in it. The pumpkin puree paired with Greek yogurt gives it the perfect texture and the sage compliments the rich pumpkin flavor. Scallops are one of my favorites but you could substitute it with prawns, chicken or even a poached egg for an extra creamy sauce!
Healthy Creamy Pumpkin Sage Pasta with Seared Scallops
- 200 g whole wheat pasta (I like rigatoni, penne or rotini)
- 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp + 1 Tbsp
- 10 fresh sage leaves + 5 more for chopping (about ¼ cup total)
- 3 shallots, finely diced (can be substituted for 1/3 cup onion if you don’t have on hand)
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned
- ½ cup skim milk
- ¼ cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
- ½ tsp salt (for pasta cooking water)
- 1 tsp powdered chicken stock or 1 bouilon cube (enough to mak 1 cup chicken stock)
- 200 grams of fresh scallops
- Fresh cracked salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp parmesan, large shavings *optional to finish off the dish
- OPTIONAL STEP: Fried Sage leaves (this adds a nice touch to the dish visually and for flavor but can be skipped if you want to keep it simple!) Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Heat for about 30 seconds then add the 10 sage leaves, watching carefully so they don’t burn. Turn them over after 3-4 minutes, once starting to brown and repeat on the other side. Remove from heat and place the leaves on a piece of paper towel to absorb and excess oil.
- Bring a large pot of salted water (~1/2 tsp) to a rolling boil. *salting the water adds flavor to the pasta, enhancing the flavor of the dish. Cook according to package directions and be sure to save 1 cup of the cooking water to add to the sauce
- Meanwhile, Heat another 1 tsp of oil over medium high heat, heat for 30 seconds then add the garlic and shallots. Cook until they become transluscent, stirring so they don’t burn (3-4 minutes)
- Turn heat to medium low and add the pumpkin puree, stir to combine then add the milk and stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in the Greek yogurt, stirring to combine.
- Add the chicken stock powder to the reserved pasta cooking water, add to the sauce and put pan back onto medium-high heat. Let it come to a gentle boil and cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
- While the sauce is thickening, heat the remaining Tbsp. of oil in another pan, over medium high heat. Once heated, about 30 seconds, place the scallops in the pan. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and cracked pepper. Allow the bottom to sear for about 1 minute and then place a lid over the pan for another 2 minutes to let them steam a bit. Flip the scallops once and allow the othe side to sear and finish cooking without the lid, about another 2 minutes. Scallops should be opaque on the inside once cooked.
- Add the sauce to the pasta noodles and mix well, add the additional chopped sage and plate the pasta.
- Top with fried sage leaves, shaved parmesan and scallops.