Today’s comfort deliciousness is sponsored by Barilla Canada — makers of high quality, tasty pasta that cooks perfectly al dente! All opinions are my own.
Happy World Pasta Day! Yay! A day for the LOVE of pasta and LOVE of comfort food 🙂 I’m celebrating with a Fall baked pasta with all the sweetness of roasted pumpkin, goodness of kale and mushrooms, and a slight indulgence of brie cheese. Now the cheese is totally optional, but if you’re looking to indulge—go for it! This baked pasta is pure comfort and a perfect celebration of this gorgeous season on a special day!
How are you guys enjoying Fall foods this season? I’ll admit that the weather has been so gorgeous, it took me a while to get into the Fall mood. Kids certainly pushed for it, lol. But you know what the beauty is? The day you decide to make a hearty soup, or enjoy some squash, or make a pumpkin treat… that’s the day you can never go back! For me, this day was probably 2 weeks ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since 🙂
Let’s talk a bit about this fall baked pasta, because adding pasta to fall is like adding comfort over comfort food. I fell in LOVE with this combo last year when I was asked to do an all things pumpkin cooking class. While we made roast pumpkin salad, pickled pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie cookies and finally a fall baked pasta with roast pumpkin and guess what — the HIT was the baked pasta with roasted pumpkin!
It seems like everyone craved that comfort, which absolutely pairs beautifully with pumpkin! This baked pasta has the sweetness and creaminess of a roasted pumpkin, so I love to contrast that with the slight bitterness of kale. The mushrooms here add a nice hearty, meaty flavor and a nice chewy texture to the baked pasta. Certainly, feel free to add in or take away—something like sun-dried tomatoes would be perfect here! That’s the beauty of pasta – you can always add or remove ingredients that suit your tastes!
Let’s start with the pasta. Because let’s face it, it’s all about the pasta! I love Barilla for many reasons. It tastes really GOOD. Not starchy. It cooks to a perfect al dente texture, and quickly! But at the same time, it retains its beautiful texture whether boiled or baked. Another thing I love is the variety of shapes, sizes and types of Barilla pasta you’ll find at your grocery stores, including Gluten Free! Basically, you can enjoy it anyway you like! 🙂
So let’s talk pumpkin. I find many of us use the canned pumpkin all the time because it’s delicious and easy, but the taste and texture of a roasted pumpkin is seriously unbeatable! Back when I used to live in Vienna, canned pumpkin didn’t exist, in fact till this day, my sis is always jealous when I share a recipe using canned pumpkin because she never finds it there! So all we knew and used was fresh whole beautiful pumpkin 🙂
Now, if I wasn’t roasting this pumpkin, I would easily slice it in half, remove the seeds and place it in a microwave with a little water and cook it for a few mins until the skin peels right off. Similarly, you can do the exact same thing and roast the pumpkin cut side down in a 400 degree oven for nearly 40 mins. Then simply peel, slice and cut up into the shape you like. Alternatively, just place the pumpkin, cut side down on a cutting board and peel the skin using a veggie peeler turning the pumpkin as you go. It does need a bit of manpower, but super worth it 🙂
I love adding in quartered mushrooms along with the pumpkin to roast, then I simply toss fresh sliced kale, the roasted pumpkin and mushrooms, season that and add in your slightly cooked pasta. Here comes the good stuff: cream. One word but, oh!, so good! You don’t need to use heavy whipping cream, use light cream if it makes you feel better, use coconut cream if you fancy that… but by all means don’t skip on that! Brie slices on top are the perfect lush finale, though I have to say, it’s optional.
Bake the pasta uncovered for 15-20 minutes until everything blends together. If you are using brie, it is going to melt beautifully too! Now dig in and enjoy 🙂
Fall Baked Pasta with Roast Pumpkin, Kale and Mushrooms
For the Roasted Pumpkin:
- 1 small pumpkin
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3 cups of quartered mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
- For the pasta:
- 1 box of your favorite shape Barilla cooked according to package directions undercooked by 3 minutes
For the Pasta Bake:
- All of the roasted pumpkin and mushrooms above
- 2 cups of kale sliced
- 1 cup of cream
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
- 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
- Optional: sliced brie cheese
- Optional : Parmesan for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.
- Place the pumpkin cut side down on a cutting board and use a veggie peeler, peel the skin off while holding the pumpkin with your other hand firmly. Turn the pumpkin as you go peeling it.
- Cut up the pumpkin into slices and then cut each slice into an inch cube pieces.
- On a parchment lined baking sheet, add the pumpkin cubes and quartered mushrooms and season them with salt, fresh thyme and olive oil. Toss and roast them for 20-25 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
- In the meantime, cook the Barilla pasta according to package instructions, making sure to remove it 3 minutes earlier as it will bake in the oven.
- In an oven safe plate, about 9 inch by 1 inch and 2 inch deep, add the fresh kale, roasted pumpkin and mushrooms, cooked pasta, cream, seasoning and toss well. Top the pasta with some brie cheese (optional) and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Remove the baked pasta from the oven, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese if desired, extra fresh thyme leaves, chili flakes if you’d like and serve right away! Enjoy 🙂