As I said yesterday, it’s moving time at Casa BBF. Yesterday I spent the better part of the afternoon cleaning my oven, hob, and fridge, which means that from now till Moving Day, cooking activity will be minimal to keep them nice and shiny for the new tenant (not that I’d have the time or patience to start cooking feasts anyway). This morning, I finished packing up the living room. But what better distraction from back pain and boxes than posting a recipe?
This one is originally from ZEIT Magazin’s weekly column “Wochenmarkt” (weekly market), German-speaking readers can find it here. The instant I saw it, I knew I needed to give it a spin – I just loved the idea of roasted pumpkin with nuts smooching with pasta, a whole explosion of starchy goodness to prepare you for those chilly autumn days. It turned out my father had the same idea, and he made it first. It also turned out that my mother hated the outcome, while my Dad loved it. “I hope you don’t like it either”, my darling mother informed me over the phone. Well, I’m afraid to say that I did like it – this recipe accomplished everything it had promised. I hope my mother doesn’t disinherit me now. All this to say that apparently, creamy starchy goodness is not everyone’s cup of tea. You’ve been warned.
Ingredients (serves 2 very hungry autumn lovers)
- 1 medium-sized Hokkaido pumpkin
- Olive oil
- 100g nut mix, coarsely chopped (the original recipe has you use cashew nuts only. I thought this was a bit boring.)
- one small handful sage leaves, fresh
- a dash of fresh lemon juice
- 1 small red chile, finely chopped, seeds removed
- 30g grated parmesan
- 300g pasta
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Wash the pumpkin (no need to peel it), halve it and cut off the ends. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and cut into about 1.5cm (1 inch) thick wedges. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the pumpkin wedges on it. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast the pumpkin in the oven for a total of 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes, sprinkle the nuts and whole sage leaves over the pumpkin and let it roast for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente. Reserve the cooking water! Once the pumpkin is done, take it out of the oven and cut the wedges into smaller pieces (they don’t have to be very small). Slide the pumpkin into a bowl and add the chile, lemon juice, parmesan, a dash of olive oil, and some of the pasta water. Mix well with a fork. The pumpkin will turn into a kind of pumpkin mash and the water will make this “sauce” creamier. You can play around with this depending on how thick you want the sauce to be. Mix with the pasta and serve. The pumpkin mash keeps well in the fridge for a few days. In that case I would recommend cooking fresh pasta for the second serving and using more of the pasta water when re-heating the sauce.