Monday, 9 November 2009
Wow, has it really been that long? Things have been busy and it's making the days fly by. Yesterday I had lots of odds and ends in my fridge to use up, most notably some pumpkin from a pumpkin cookie recipe I used for school Halloween lesson prizes recently. After a quick look online I found this Pumpkin and Sage Spaghetti recipe that I adapted to use up a few other bits and pieces I had. I've never really though of using pumpkin in pasta before (though I was served it once a while back and enjoyed it), but it turned out really well, and it gives a surprising heartiness and warmth to the dish, making it perfect for autumn.
Ingredients Serves 1 hungry person
160g Japanese pumpkin (flesh only), chopped into small cubes
70g dried wholewheat spaghetti
20g polish sausage, finely diced
Half a medium red onion
1 clove garlic, minced (or garlic puree)
1 tsp butter
160g frozen chopped spinach
Juice of 1/4 lemon
5 sage leaves, roughly chopped
20g Parmesan , grated
This is really my own version so there are too many to mention. The sausage was a spicy, soft salami type sausage, but any spicy sausage would do. I only used a tiny amount diced very finely because a) that's all I had left, and b) I don't tend to like that kind of sausage normally. I find the flavour a little overpowering and just wanted a hint of it to add some depth to the dish. If you'd like to add more or keep the pieces chunkier then feel free.
This recipe was originally vegetarian, if you'd like to keep it that way then skip the sausage altogether. You could saute a dried chili or add a drop or two of hot sauce to the sauce if you want a bit of non-meat spiciness.
I had to cook the pasta first, then make the sauce, because I only have two burners. If you're lucky enough to have more then I am jealous, and you can make everything at the same time so the pasta doesn't have to sit.
Cheese is to taste.
1) Put pumpkin into a saucepan with a fitted lid, season with a dash of salt and a dash of sugar. Drizzle with approx 3 tbsp and place, covered, over a medium heat. Stir it occasionally and add a little water if needed. You want the cooked pumpkin to be tender but still hold its shape, it will take about 10-15 minutes.
2) While the pumpkin is cooking, cook the pasta according to packet instructions until just ready, reserve some of the pasta water and then drain the pasta and set aside.
3) In a pan over med-high heat, saute the red onion, butter, sage, garlic, and sausage together until the the onion is soft. Add the lemon juice and allow it to splutter for a moment or two. Tip the pumpkin, 3-4 tbsp of the reserved pasta water, and half the Parmesan cheese, into the pan and give it a good stir. Add the pasta, and serve well seasoned with salt, pepper, and the rest of the cheese.