Episode 41: Winter Nights
Rachael's Quick Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Spiced Pepitas, Creamy Greek Noodle Soup and Shrimp Scampi Gnocchi
Winter days are short, dark, and chilly. When you do come in from the cold, we have some recipes that will warm you from the inside out. Take the Pumpkin Mac and Cheese from Rachael Ray. Noodles smothered in cheese and pumpkin with hearty chorizo and spiced pepitas. We’re warming up just thinking about it! We two recipes that will help you get cozy in no time. Creamy Greek Noodle Soup and Shrimp Scampi Gnocchi are comfort foods for a weeknight.
Macaroni and cheese is many people’s comfort food for a reason. Melty cheese and noodles? What else do you need? According to Rachael Ray, add some chorizo, pumpkin, and pepitas and you’ll take it over the top. We agreed.
The recipe makes a lot of servings. Half the recipe would generously serve four to five people. Kate successfully halved this recipe without a problem.
Make sure to reserve that pasta water. Depending on how thick you like your sauce, you may add the full amount.
Watch those pepitas as they roast. We both burnt our pumpkin seeds. (UGH!) We thought pre-roasted and salted pumpkin seeds might not be a bad alternative if you’re prone to distraction.
If you have ever tasted Avgolemono soup and loved that creamy, tangy flavor, this soup is for you. If not, you’re in for a treat. The twist on this chicken noodle soup is a broth fortified with eggs and lemon. Makes for a smooth yet slightly tart mouthfeel that will have you coming back for seconds.
Don’t worry- you can temper eggs! Just add the hot broth slowly while whisking like a maniac. Use a spouted measuring cup for easier pouring and a towel under your bowl so it doesn’t slip while you whisk with one hand.
The soup noodles were a bit tricky to find until we looked in the aisle of Kosher foods.
Put this recipe in the file for when you’re looking to use up the rotisserie chicken. The remaining ingredients- carrots, onions, lemon, noodles and broth- are all very pantry friendly.
Shrimp scampi was a very fancy appetizer (at least to Kate) at one time. We make it extra fancy and a super easy weeknight meal by adding in some premade gnocchi. Shrimp and gnocchi covered in a garlicky, lemony sauce is our idea of a heavenly Tuesday night meal.
We used a shelf stable (Dececco brand) and a frozen gnocchi for this recipe. Each worked well.
Make sure to watch your shrimp while it is cooking. Shellfish can go from barely cooked to rubber in a minute. Don’t worry, the total cook time for the shrimp is less than five minutes. You won’t be chained to the stove.
From the Smorgasbord:
Curious about Alison Roman’s Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric? Cook it with us! Then join us on in our Facebook group to talk all about it. (Haven’t joined yet? Just click the button to join on our main page.)
If you’re also wondering what all the fuss is about her cookies, check out the recipe for Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies.