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When you can’t do citric acid, your pasta sauce options are limited.  No pesto.  No tomato.  That leaves macaroni and cheese (and believe me I have about a million recipes of all different varieties) and alfredo.  Not a whole lot of nutritional content in either, but I’m a pro at adding spinach, broccoli, or peas to every cheesy pasta dish I serve my kids.  After discovering a huge sale on pumpkin puree, a friend of mine recommended that I make pumpkin ravioli.  Yeah… handmade ravioli doesn’t happen much in a home with 4 kids.  But I took the idea and started searching for pumpkin pasta sauces.  SCORE!  Why had this never occurred to me before?  I found this recipe, and it is pretty much perfect.  We eat vegetarian most of the time, for my husband’s sake.  But I made this with chicken for me and the kids today, and it was a hit.  (And by hit, I mean that two kids ate it all without saying a word and one kid said “This isn’t terrible!”  That’s a win in my book.)  I think this would freeze nicely, and it seems to be endlessly adaptable.  I didn’t have any chicken or veggie broth, so I left it out.  I’m sure I could do this with veggie broth and no chicken and it’d be delicious.  I didn’t measure any of the ingredients.  I tossed in some balsamic vinegar because it just sounded like it might go nicely.  (It did.)  I bet adding spinach to this would be lovely.  But then again, I say that about everything.  I’m glad to have another citric acid free pasta sauce!  Now I have a reason to stock up on pumpkin puree this fall.  Here’s my version of the recipe:

1 can of pumpkin puree

2 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp butter

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp sage

1 tsp salt

1 cup milk and/or broth (give or take)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

splash of balsamic vinegar

pepper to taste

whole wheat pasta

chicken breast, diced and sautéed (optional.  leave out for a vegetarian version.)

While your pasta water boils, melt butter on low heat in a sauce pan.  Add diced garlic, nutmeg, and sage.  Immediately add the pumpkin and liquid of your choice before the garlic gets a chance to burn.  (It happens fast!)  Add the rest of the ingredients and give it a chance to simmer for a few minutes while your pasta cooks.  If you’re using chicken, pour the sauce in to the pan with your cooked chicken so it can pick up all that flavor.  Taste it and add more of whatever you like.  I always add more salt.