Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin & Shrimp Pasta Gratin with Pumpkin White Sauce

Yes, finally! My kid's exam is over! It is such a relief and happy feeling. ;) I guess most of us parents just feel stressed out because the kids go through the grueling exam period. But now that it's over, no matter how she fare, I am contented that she had did her best. So from now on, we are all ready for our holiday plans, scheduling and packing, yoohoo! And since I was relatively busy with my kiddo's exam, I didn't manage to bake or cook all those things I had planned, namely for MFF and AB. I was even planning to bake a pumpkin cheesecake today for Halloween but had to let go since I ended up packing up my kids books and notes.*haiz*

Nevertheless, I did make something with pumpkin (in the Halloween theme. haha). Something delicious and homey for the family to enjoy. It's Pumpkin & Shrimp Pasta Gratin with Pumpkin White Sauce....seriously delicious and comforting. ;D
Okay, if you have not eaten baked pasta before, you have got to try it! You will not regret it especially if you love me. ;) I got this fabulous recipe from none other then MASA himself. Ever since HHB told me that MASA has a Taiwanese website, I've been visiting him ever since, lol! I think I will never get bored browsing through all those yummy dishes he cooks up. ;)) So maybe you can go check him out later....I mean go check his website out, haha!

Since our dear MASA didn't give specific amount in his recipe, I had to do a rough estimate on most of the ingredients. Okay, without further ado, here is my version of the recipe:

Ingredients for Pumpkin & Shrimp Pasta Gratin with Pumpkin White Sauce (Serves 4-5)
15-18 tiger prawns, shelled & devined
400g Japanese Pumpkin (preferred but okay to use others if don't have)
  •  Sliced thinly, 200g to be used for the Pumpkin White sauce while the other 200g in the gratin. Note that you can eat the skin too, just make sure you scrub it clean. ;)
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 box of Penne Pasta
1 serving of White Sauce (see link for MASA recipe)
2 tbsp butter
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
250g grated mozzarella cheese
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 
2 tbsp butter
Salt & Pepper

For the White Sauce: 
30g butter
35g cake flour
400ml fresh milk
100ml dairy heavy cream
  • In a sauce pan over medium low heat, add in butter. When the butter melted and started bubbling, add in the flour all at once.
  • Quickly whisk in the flour and butter together till it comes together. Continue stirring for at least 2 -3 minutes to cook the flour, making sure not to burn it.
  • Then slowly add in half of the milk and continue to whisk, making sure there is no lumps. 
  • When the mixture has come together to a thick smooth consistency, add in the rest of the milk and heavy cream. Stir well.
  • Continue to cook the sauce till it thickens slightly. One way to test it is to use a wooden spoon or spatula and run your finger through the back of the spoon. If the sauce stays clear from the path, it's good to go.
Pumpkin White Sauce: 
  • In a large pan, add in the 2 tbsp butter, then add in the chopped garlic. Saute for a minute and add in 200g of the thinly sliced pumpkin.
  • After 2-3 minutes, add in the prawns and stir fry till the prawns just turn pink.
  • Remove the prawns from the pan (you don't want to over cook them). Leaving the pumpkins still in the pan, add in about 150ml of water and let it slowly stew for 5-8 minutes till soft.
  • When the pumpkin is soft, off the fire and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, boil your pasta till al dente. Scoop out and set aside for use later. 
  • Scoop the pumpkin and all the stewed water in the blender and zap it till its a smooth consistency.
  • Add the pumpkin puree to the reserved white sauce earlier.
  • Mix it well till you get a smooth golden saucy consistency. Add a couple tablespoon of milk and heat up the mixture if it's too thick. At this point, give the sauce a taste test, you can add salt and pepper to make it the desired taste you like.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • At this point, add in the pasta and stir well till everything is coated. Add in the cooked prawns, peas and stir well.
  • Ladle the pasta mixture into a buttered gratin dish or bake dish. 
  •  Now add in the rest of the 200g thinly sliced pumpkin, and spread over the mixture. 
  • Lastly add in the cheeses, sprinkling all over the top. Pinch in bits if  the reserved 2 tbsp cold butter all over the top. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes till the top is bubbly and golden brown. Serve while it is still hot.
Bare in mind that the white sauce or the pumpkin white sauce can be made ahead. So on the day you need it, all you have to do is assemble and bake. Alternatively, assemble everything, freeze it and bake it as when you need. No harm done since everything is already cooked just needs to bake it up to melt those cheeses. ;)
Now, don't tell me you don't want a plate of this golden cheesy pasta? I had 2 by the way, haha! The sweetness from the prawns and pumpkin really gave this pasta a  full rich flavor. It's creamy, its sweet, it's cheesy, it's everything a comfort food should be. BIG YUM! Something to note, if possible, try to get Japanese pumpkin for this, as it's much sweeter, smoother and creamier. Worth every penny. ;)

Hope I have motivated you to cook this nice comfort meal for your family, if not for yourself. ;) 
Lastly, wishing everyone a spooky Halloween Day today! Cheers everyone!


鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...


Honey Bee Sweets said...


Chef and Sommelier said...

Mine still have one more day to go (exams)!

That looks like a god idea for a one-dish meal for the kids.... Will attempt this for the kids during their year-end break!

Mich - Piece of Cake said...

This looks absolutely delicious! Makes me feel like having a pasta rigt

Min said...

This looks yummy! I love it! I bought MASA's book and I really love it, with detail steps and pictures.

lena said...

oh, i saw this in your FB! sinfully comforting!! LOL! whenever i see pumpkin in a recipe, i always have the impression,'ooh, it must be real good'. This sounds really delicious, i will mop all the sauce too!

My Little Space said...

White is always my favourite. Even my grown up kids can't resist such luscious simple flavour. Your combination looks pretty flavourful. Hope you're going to have a lovely weekend, dear.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Look like you are a big fan of MASA huh..hehehe , yes this pasta sound absolutely delicious and comfort .

Jes's Deli Corner said...

Hi, this looks delicious although I'm not a big fan of pumpkin..must bookmarked this..tq

kitchen flavours said...

This looks delicious! I love anything with pumpkins! Yum!

Koska Turkish Delight said...

I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people.

Zoe said...

Happy for you too that your family and you are totally relieved that the exam season is over!

This pasta looks very comforting to eat for the coming cooler and rainy months in Singapore.

emy said...

Can't wait to try out and make some for my sister and my niece and nephew!