It might technically be spring but seeing as Melbourne likes to play fast and loose with sticking to the seasons, so will I. My first week back on pasta and here I am with this flavour bomb of a bowl of deliciousness.
The pumpkin is cooked to golden perfection, with the crunchy seeds roasted for further time so they get all golden. I’ve then thrown in some acid via fresh tomato to balance the sweet pumpkin and a generous amount of salty parmesan goodness. It’s a very good time.
I used fresh organic stoneground pasta that the wonderful folk over at 3grain Organic sent me to try. It was so delicious, I actually can’t recommend it enough. My housemate is obsessed now too. They sent me a few packets so I shared it around and it’s been such a hit. Plus, I find it really easy in terms of digestion, always a bonus with pasta. Get involved.
This sauce would be good on any shape pasta though so go ahead and use your favourite. It coats the pasta really well, even smooth spaghetti, so you get load of flavour in each bite. I love leaving some of the pumpkin in chunks so you get some texture too. You should all know how by now how much I need a balance of textures in my meals. Obsessed. That’s why I also throw the roasted pumpkin seeds on top too. I leave them with a little bit of the pumpkin still attached and roast for some extra time until golden and sticky (you can see them in the image below.
I’ve also used kefir in this recipe because it’s full of probiotic goodness. You could just as easily use plain Greek yoghurt.
750g butternut pumpkin
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, skin on.
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup kefir or Greek yghurt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
olive oil for serving
500g pasta of choice
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Slice pumpkin into 2 inch thick wedges. Leave seeds and skin on. Lie on tray and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle in olive oil. Roast for 1 hour or until soft and caramelised. Add garlic to the tray after 30 minutes.
Remove the pumpkin from the tray. Scoop the seeds out and return them to the tray. Spread out. Turn the oven up to 220 degrees celsius and roast the seeds for 10 more minutes to crisp up further.
Set aside 1 cup of the pumpkin flesh, roughly chop so it’s in bite sized bits, keep warm. It’s best if there’s some crispy skin in it as it will create texture! Place the remaining pumpkin in a blender or food processor along with the parmesan, kefir, tomatoes, pepper and chilli powder. Squeeze roasted garlic from the skins into the pumpkin mixture. Blend everything until smooth.
Cook the pasta according to packet directions and then drain, reserving 1.5 cups of pasta water. Add this water to the blender a 1/4 cup at a time until it resembles a smooth sauce rather than a thick puree.Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning to taste.
Toss together the pasta, reserved pumpkin and the sauce. Toss to coat and serve sprinkled with extra parmesan, roasted pumpkin seeds and the finely chopped parsley.