This earthy fall pasta dish was inspired by my kid’s love of mac and cheese. They request mac and cheese so often that I was forced to dream up creative ways to serve this side dish throughout the season without my husband and I pulling out our hair for having to eat mac and cheese for dinner again.
As my mami would say “dios mio, estas ninas.” It was partially my fault for giving in, but what mami doesn’t cave into their bright eyed children’s requests. I slowly began adding peas, then cauliflower, fresh spinach, bacon or ham and never once did I hear one objection. Then I swapped out white pasta for whole-wheat, quinoa and began to change the shape of pasta and still no objections.
As my children began to get older and made their way into the kitchen to help out they began experimenting with their beloved mac and cheese by changing the flavors with the season. In summer we added fresh tomatoes, winter we added squash and in the spring roasted asparagus were a hit with my littlest. When fall rolled around we knew we had to try pumpkin. With its creamy texture, hearty bite and the addition of silky cream this recipe immediately went into the family recipe book.
When Cacique® asked me to create a kid-friendly pumpkin inspired dish using their new authentic Mexican-style Shredded Cheeses this was the first recipe that popped into my head, of course our ultimate pumpkin cheese sauce incorporating Cacique® who has been making cheese lovers happy for over 40 years would take this dish to a new level of yumminess quoting my youngest.
Their new Mexican-style Shredded Cheese products will soon be available everywhere soon, and hope you enjoy this fall inspired hearty pasta dish. To find a retailer with cacique shred cheese near you visit www.caciqueinc.com/locator
WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound spaghetti, cooked to al dente
- 1 package Cacique® Chorizo
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup Cacique® Crema Mexicana
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup Cacique® Queso Cotija Grated Cheese
- 3 cups spinach, julienned
- Salt and black pepper
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Bring a large pot of cold water with salt to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente, tender but not mushy, about 8 minutes. Drain and toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, set aside until sauce is ready.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, add chorizo and with wooden spoon crumble and cook until fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Remove chorizo with slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from pan, add garlic and onion and sauté until translucent and tender, about 3 minutes. Add ground cumin, oregano, chicken broth and pumpkin to pan. Stir sauce until it heat through, return chorizo to pan, reduce heat, and stir in Crema Mexicana. Season the sauce with the nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture a few minutes.
- Add drained pasta and toss to coat. Stir in spinach and Queso Cotija. Serve warm and enjoy!