pumpkin + pea + pine nut pasta

Try saying ‘pumpkin, pea and pine nut pasta’ really fast three times.

That may be difficult, but making this tasty little pasta dish isn’t. The perfect meat free Monday meal, it’s made even easier if you can roast the pumpkin on Sunday night and have it in the fridge ready to throw in.

Made with simple ingredients, there are a couple of important tricks to getting this pasta dish just right.

Lo’s tips

  • You need to use the cooked pasta water to loosen up the sauce, so when you’re straining the cooked pasta, place a bowl underneath the strainer to catch the water.
  • You mustn’t overcook the pasta as no one likes soggy pasta. The only way to tell if the pasta is cooked is to taste it as you go. Remember that you want to take it off the heat while it’s still slightly undercooked as the residual heat once strained will continue to cook it.
  • The pumpkin must be nicely roasted so that it’s nice and soft. (I find that by cutting the pumpkin up in to really small pieces, it cooks faster). I roast the pumpkin beforehand if possible and have it in the fridge ready for when I want to whip this pasta dish up.
  • Making a killer pasta dish is all about the timing. You want to try and time it so that all ingredients are ready to go just as the pasta is cooked.
  • I buy the Meredith Dairy marinated goats cheese in a jar, which is available from Woolies.
  • You can substitute the goats cheese with feta cheese if that’s what you prefer.
  • I leave the spinach and goats cheese out for my girls. They mainly just eat the pasta, opting to dodge the pieces of pumpkin, but it’s good for them to try new things.
  • Also makes for really nice leftovers for lunch the next day too.

Give it a try.

And see if you can master the tongue twister.

Pumpkin, pea and pine nut pasta, pumpkin, pea and pine nut pasta, pumpkin, pea and pine nut pasta…

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pumpkin + pea + pine nut pasta (serves 4)

A piece of pumpkin, (I favour Kent but Butternut could also be used), peeled and finely chopped
400 grams of spiral pasta, reserving the pasta water
1 x small brown onion, finely chopped
2 x garlic cloves, crushed
Handful of frozen peas
Handful of pine nuts
Handful of baby spinach leaves
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
A chunk of goats cheese per person
Olive oil, a drizzle

  • Add the pumpkin to a large roasting tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven (200℃) for approx 30 minutes (turning over half way) or until the pumpkin is nicely cooked. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a small dry saucepan, toast the pine nuts for a couple of minutes or until just starting to brown. (Be careful here as you don’t want them to burn). Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water.
  • Sauté the onion and garlic in a large fry pan until softened. Add the pumpkin and pine nuts and take off the heat.
  • Once the pasta is 3/4 of the way to being ready, add the peas to the pasta water to cook.
  • Strain the pasta and peas (reserving the water) and add to the onions.
  • Add a good dash of the pasta water to the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over the top. (Add more pasta water if it’s looking dry).
  • Serve the pasta with the goats cheese on top and another drizzle of olive oil.

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If you make this pasta, please comment below. xx

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