If you've been to NYC restaurant Santina, chances are you recall its refreshing Italian cuisine and abundant bright colors. But native New Yorker Ashley Eddie just took over as the executive chef, and you owe yourself a return trip to see how she's shaking things up for fall—like with this take on pumpkin pasta. "Instead of the obvious route of using actual pumpkin, I decided to use pumpkin seeds and oil which both pack a ton of flavor," she says. She then tosses the pesto with gluten-free rigatoni (the entire menu at Santina is free of gluten without hitting you over the head with it; feel free to use your pasta of choice here) and balances it with ricotta salata as the final touch.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto Rigatoni
Recipe adapted from Ashley Eddie, Santina, New York NY
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
For the Toasted Pumpkin Seed Pesto:
1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted and still warm
1½ cups soffritto
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
1 anchovy fillet
For the Rigatoni:
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
4 anchovy fillets
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup toasted pumpkin seed pesto
1 pound gluten-free rigatoni (or sub your pasta of choice)
Juice of 1 lemon, as needed
½ cup grated ricotta salata
1. Make the pesto: Add the pumpkin seeds to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and process until combined.
2. Make the pasta: Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, and make sure to reserve the pasta water.
3. Meanwhile, heat a separate pot over medium heat and add the olive oil, sliced garlic and anchovy fillets. Smash the anchovy into the oil and simmer, 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the parsley and pumpkin seed pesto and stir to combine.
4. Add the pasta into the pot with the pesto, adding some pasta water to achieve the desired consistency, until incorporated and warm. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste, then plate and serve with ricotta salata.