Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
~ Thomas Jefferson
The woodland colors are so vivid and dazzling in this period that it almost makes up for the diminishing amount of daylight hours. I like fall, but I love spring even better. We set the clocks back an hour this past Sunday and the following day, the doxie was in a huff when I handed out the daily mid-morning snack at what he perceived to be an hour late!
Speaking of late, back in September we visited our favorite pumpkin vendor at a sagra but I had forgotten all about these photos that MotH took with his phone. Zucche & Zucchette puts out a fantastic variety of pumpkins and sells most of them for only 1€/kilo. I nabbed the biggest Halloween pumpkin for just 8€ (although I’m sure that it weighs more than 8 kilos).
This little pumpkin went to market…
..who’s the fairest of them all?
1€ per kilo
Are we still embracing the colorful fall season or are we already hunkering down for winter? This pasta is a little late seeing that the fig harvest should be almost over by now, but I was lucky enough to score a half dozen earlier this month and this is my favorite way to use them in a beautiful autumn meal. The inspiration comes from a very, very old issue of either Bon Appetit or Food & Wine, but since the original recipe called for fresh truffles (which even for myself is not always possible to acquire), I adapted it so that most cooks can try this at home.
For 2 servings you will need:
6 large sweet figs
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup diced pancetta (or thick-cut bacon)
1 cup of 1/2-inch diced kabocha pumpkin
4-6 sage leaves, depending how large they are
1/4 cup white wine
1 Tbsp. porcini powder (make your own by processing dried porcini in a spice blender)
salt and pepper to taste
6 ounces pappardelle, dried (or 1/2 pound fresh)
For the sauce:
Quarter 4 of the figs and chop the remaining 2. Place the latter in a large skillet along with the butter and pancetta; cook until the pancetta releases its fat. Add the pumpkin and sage, and continue cooking until the sage begins to turn a little golden around the edges. Pour in the wine and add the porcini powder; reduce until sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In the meantime, cook the pasta. When it’s almost ready, reheat the fig/pumpkin sauce and stir in the quartered figs – you just want to warm them through. Add the drained pasta and divide between 2 plates.