Pumpkin Pasta with Brown Butter and Sage

The other day I was in the mood for some cookies and I made the mistake of asking my toddler what type of cookies we should bake. His answer? Pumpkin cookies. Ok, pumpkin cookies are a random request for the first day of spring, but I'm fostering his new found skill of decision making. So we rolled with it and made some delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. My favorite pumpkin chocolate chip recipe however only uses 6 tablespoons of pumpkin puree. So I am inevitably left with  2/3rds of a can of pumpkin every time I bake them. What to do, what to do. So I invented a new recipe that uses up all the leftover pumpkin! I know I'm not the only one who has left over portions of pumpkin laying around, so without further ado, I introduce to you: Pumpkin Pasta with Brown Butter and Sage. 

1/2 stick of butter
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried french tarragon
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 box penne pasta (about 8 ounces) 
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup goat cheese
Salt & Pepper

Melt your butter in a frying pan on low heat. Just leave it there and don't mess with it. Let it bubble and get golden. As soon as you see the butter changing from yellow to golden, add your garlic, sage, and tarragon. 

While your butter browns, go ahead and boil your pasta in salted water for 8-10 minutes as the package directs. Strain the water from your pasta, reserving about 1/4 of a cup of the starchy water for later. While that pasta sits in your colander, use your warm pot to heat up your pumpkin puree and mix it with your goat cheese. Once those two are incorporated, add your pasta back to pot and mix. Then add your butter to the pot and mix. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little of your reserved pasta water to loosen it up. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Due to the brown butter, pumpkin, herbs, and goat cheese, this is a very flavorful dish. It tastes as indulgent as a macaroni, but due to a lot of the sauce being made up from pumpkin, its much less sinful, and a little bit more sophisticated as well. This will serve 2-3 people.