I don’t know what it is about the cold weather, but it definitely has me craving pasta. If you’re planning a dinner party or even a date night in, elevate your pasta dish with the perfect cocktail pairing for your guests.
Now I know most people think wine and pasta, but I wanted to try something a little bit different and feature a few seasonal fall ingredients. I chose to pair this Caramelized Apple, Pumpkin and Bacon Linguine recipe from Barilla Pasta with an Apple Bourbon Ginger Cocktail.
I just find that these fall flavours go so well together and the sweet of the apple contrasts the salt of the bacon. The chewy linguine and the soft pumpkin add all sorts of great texture to the dish.
The secret to great tasting Barilla Pasta is cooking your pasta to al dente – which means it’s perfectly chewy, but just a little bit firm – but not hard on the inside where you can still see white uncooked parts. This is the best way to enjoy pasta!
To achieve perfect al dente pasta, follow the directions on the package and constantly check your pasta with the chew test the closer you get to the final minutes of cooking time. Make sure to you use a high quality pasta like Barilla to get the most out of your dish! Here’s how you can re-create this recipe at home:
Caramelized Apple, Pumpkin + Bacon Linguine
• 1 box Barilla® Linguine
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 3 cups apples, peeled, diced ½ inch
• 3 cups pumpkin*, peeled, diced ½ inch
• 6 slices thick cut bacon, ½ inch strips
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
• Sea salt and black pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
• 2 ounces goat cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
2. In mixing bowl combine olive oil, apples, pumpkin, thyme and bacon lardoons.
3. Place on nonstick baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until apples are caramelized and pumpkin is soft.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
5. Place pasta and pasta water back in saucepan over medium heat.
6. Add apple mixture, scrapping all ingredients from baking sheet into pasta.
7. Toss and heat through, season to taste.
8. Place in eight bowls and top with toasted pumpkin seeds and cheese.
*can substitute butternut squash
Here’s the cocktail to serve with this dish:
Apple Bourbon Ginger Cocktail
• 3 oz fresh apple cider
• 1 oz bourbon
• 1 oz ginger ale
• 1 apple, chopped
• ½ cup fresh cranberries
• Cinnamon sticks (optional garnish)
1. In a cocktail shaker with ice combine the apple cider and bourbon and shake well
2. Pour your cocktail in a glass filled with ice
3. Add about 1 oz of ginger ale
4. Garnish with chopped apples, a few fresh cranberries and a cinnamon stick
For more great recipe ideas visit: Barilla Pasta online or on Twitter @BarillaCAN