Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Penne with Five-Spiced Pumpkin

Ever since The Ombudsman took me out for a rousing day of G-rated activities at the California Science Center, (actually, not entirely, that place has some racy stuff! And a lot of super duper icky stuff! So, you know. It was fun!) I have been thinking about the delicate balance of my body's culinary needs.

All that and I've been thinking I need a warm drink. Mmm. Yes, a warm drink.

Wait, no, what I really need is warm, hearty food. Yes. That's what I learned at the museum! Our bodies need a balance of nutrient rich foods as the weather turns colder. Who knew!

So in my science inspired mood, I contemplated dinner.

It would have to be something toothsome (oh for the love of/in the name of all that/for pities sake...did I just use that word? Gack. Sorry. Loathsome.), something with heft and stout resolution. Something carb-tastic (now, isn't that a much better word than toothsome? Yes, I think so too.) Something that positively reeks of late autumn, with the clever addition of Chinese five-spice powder. That all-balancing spice combo of note that incorporates all that is good in spirit and food balancing. It was what the doctor (had one practicing Eastern medicine been one involved) ordered for my scien-tiffic (oh wow do I think that's clever! Grin.) dinner bonanza.

Newly up-to-date on the human body and all its wonders, I cozied up to the Ombudsman with a steamy bowl of this all-nourishing, beta-carotene rich fantastic-ness. Balanced perfection. And it was warm and robust and filling and I'm sure your body will agree, super yummy.

So try it my dears, and taste the joy.

1 pound (whole wheat) penne pasta
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1 T five spice powder
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
1 teaspoon chile flakes
1/2 cup green onion
2 carrots cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 cup green cabbage, finely shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted, water cook the penne until al dente.

In a saute pan, heat the vegetable oil, then add the pumpkin and five spice and saute for one minute, stirring. Add the stock, hot sauce and chile flakes. Warm through. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Toss with the pasta, add carrots, green onion and cabbage. Toss, taste, and serve.

Makes four servings.


Emeril Lagasse will throw down his last "Bam!" on Dec. 11, when he tapes his last "Emeril Live!" for the Food Network. The show is being canceled after 10 years, though the network says his studio show will remain on the air. - TMZ.com

Five spice incorporates the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking — sweet, sour, bitter, savory and salty. It consists of cassia (cinnamon), star anise, ginger, fennel seeds and Szechuan pepper

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This sounds perfect to eat on a cold day. Although, I will probably increase the hot sauce just a little......okay, maybe more than just a little. I like things pretty spicy.
Michael, I actually added a bit more of the hot sauce and chile flakes after I served myself too...I just didnt want to go overboard in the recipe! LOL.

This sounds and looks both delicious and comforting, Rachael!
Oh man, I am so obsessed with pumpkins right now! With the five-spice powder and chile it looks perfect.

And yay, vegan!
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