Orzo plays a very comforting role in this dish, soaking up a savory pumpkin and spicy cheddar cheese sauce. Tossing in fresh peppery greens to this just before serving adds a pop of color and great texture to this warm pasta salad. Slideshow: More Pumpkin Recipes 

Sarah Bolla
Sarah Bolla
November 2014

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Credit: © Sarah Bolla

Recipe Summary

total:
25 mins
Yield:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large saucepot of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Transfer the orzo to a large bowl, coat lightly with olive oil and set aside.

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  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until softened and lightly browned.

  • Add the pumpkin puree, chili garlic sauce, mustard, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Pour in the reserved pasta water and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the grated cheddar to the sauce, stirring until evenly incorporated and melted, about 3 minutes.

  • Pour the pumpkin-cheddar sauce over the bowl of orzo and fold it in gently to combine. Toss in the arugula leaves and pepita seeds. Transfer the pasta to plates, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and serve warm.

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