Pumpkin-Poblano Pasta with Shrimp and Baby Bok Choy

Ingredients (14)

  • 1 poblano chile
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 15-ounce can 100 percent pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound bucatini
  • 4 baby bok choys, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 16 jumbo shrimp (16/20), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
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Nutritional Information
  • Calories710
  • Fat20.82g
  • Saturated fat5.74g
  • Trans fat0.01g
  • Carbs104.15g
  • Fiber9.34g
  • Sugar10.66g
  • Protein28.52g
  • Cholesterol50.1mg
  • Sodium954.74mg
  • Nutritional Analysis per serving (4 servings) Powered by

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Pumpkin-Poblano Pasta with Shrimp and Baby Bok Choy

Nikki Dinki proves that pumpkin can still be surprising. Here, it’s combined with a little cinnamon and nutmeg, as you might expect, but also more unusual suspects like poblano peppers, baby bok choy, shrimp, and bucatini pasta. The creamy sauce is fragrant, sweet, and spicy, and the whole dish is super easy—and healthy, too. For more surprisingly delicious ways to prepare pumpkin, check out our guide to international pumpkin recipes (and see all the rest of the best of pumpkins on Chowhound while you’re at it).

Notes: If you don’t want to bother with roasting the poblano chile, simply seed and chop it, and puree with the pumpkin in step 3, a quick alternative for a similar taste. In either case, add a sprinkle of parmesan to bump up the flavor if you have it on hand.

Substitutions: You can use kale, radicchio, or cabbage instead of bok choy, and use 2 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream instead of the goat cheese if you prefer. If you can’t find poblanos, substitute a green pepper and add a sprinkle of cayenne or chili power to the pumpkin mixture for a bit of spice.

Tips for Shrimp


  1. 1Use the broiler or a gas burner on the stovetop to roast the poblano. Simply place it under the heat source or over the flame (use tongs if you’re working on the stovetop), and cook until mostly black on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes, turning as needed. Put the poblano in a plastic food storage bag and seal the bag. When the poblano has cooled, rub off the skin with a paper towel. Cut the poblano open lengthwise and remove its stem and seeds.
  2. 2Place a large pot of salted water over high heat for cooking the pasta. While it is heating, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the shallots and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and 1 teaspoon of the salt until incorporated, then stir in the pumpkin, mix well, and cook for 3 minutes more
  3. 3Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a food processor or blender. Add the poblano and process to a smooth puree. Spoon the mixture back into the skillet. Stir in about two-thirds of the cheese along with the nutmeg and cinnamon; you’ll use the rest of the cheese for garnish. Keep the skillet over low heat while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  4. 4Cook the pasta in the now-boiling water according to the package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  5. 5While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a second large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the bok choy, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the bok choy to a medium bowl. Add the shrimp to the same skillet, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and sauté until pink, about 5 minutes, turning once. Return the bok choy to the skillet and heat through.
  6. 6Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the pumpkin sauce and toss to coat. If the sauce seems too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.
  7. 7Serve immediately, dividing the pasta equally among four dinner plates, and top each portion with one-quarter of the bok choy and 4 shrimp. Scatter the scallions, pumpkin seeds, and remaining cheese evenly over the tops.

From Meat on the Side Copyright ©2016 by Nikki Dinki, reprinted with permission of St. Martin’s Press. Photography by Ellen Silverman.

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