Spicy Hazelnut Pumpkin Pasta

This slightly spicy pumpkin pasta's fall flavors are rounded out with a little added crunch from the hazelnuts.

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Spicy Hazelnut Pumpkin Pasta

This savory dish puts pumpkin to use as something other than pie. The fall flavors are enhanced with just a bit of heat. Ingredients: 1 medium pie pumpkin/ 4 tablespoons olive oil/ 1/4 cup hazelnuts/ 12 ounces shell pasta or other small dried pasta/ 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced/ 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes/ 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces/ 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice/ 1/4 cup grated parmesan/ 3 tablespoons fresh mint, cut or torn into small pieces/ coarse salt and pepper to taste

Preparing the pumpkin

Cut a pie pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and peel. Cut the pumpkin flesh into small pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Roast in a 425 degree oven.

Browning the pumpkin and garlic

Brown pumpkin, garlic and crushed pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Taming the heat

Add about 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pumpkin mixture to stop the cooking and make a base for the sauce.

Making the sauce

Add small pieces of butter to the pumpkin mixture gradually and swirl pan to make sauce. Add more pasta water as needed.

Adding the pasta

Add al dente pasta to the pumpkin sauce and toss lightly to coat.

Rounding out the flavors

Add parmesan and fresh lemon juice to the pasta and pumpkin sauce.

Bringing the Flavor

Add fresh mint and more pepper flakes to round out the dish. Top with more mint and hazelnuts.

Tasting Spicy Hazelnut Pumpkin Pasta

Enjoy the fall flavors of this slightly spicy pumpkin pasta dish.