This wonderful SPICY “CHEDDAR” PUMPKIN ORZO was adapted by Dr. JJ Levenstein from Sarah BollaThis luscious pasta dish is perfect for fall. Loaded with flavor, color, crunch and a hit of heat with chipotle, this is sure to be a winner this fall and winter.
I made my version without the pumpkin seeds and arugula because I wanted my daughter to love it and she dislikes these two ingredients. But when I make it again for me, I’ll load with toasted pumpkin seeds (full of immune-boosting zinc) and peppery arugula:)
- 1 ½ cup raw orzo
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup pasta water
- ¾ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 3 large garlic cloves – finely minced
- 1 TB chili garlic sauce
- 1 TB liquid from Chipotles in Adobo
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) nut-based cheddar shreds
- 4 cups arugula, spinach, or both
- 4 TB roasted pepitas
Into a large pot of boiling salted water, cook your orzo until al dente. Strain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Put orzo in a bowl with a TB of olive oil, and stir. Set aside.
Heat another TB of olive oil in a large skillet – saute the garlic until light brown, then add the pumpkin puree, chili garlic sauce, chipotle, mustard, nutmeg, salt – stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cheddar shreds, and whisk until incorporated. Add in the pasta and fold gently to combine. Add in the greens and let sit until slightly wilted.
To serve: ladle pasta into bowls and top with vegan cheddar shreds and toasted pepitas. Yum!