Monday, 9 September 2013

Meatless Monday: Pumpkin Pasta

Pumpkin has never really been my favourite fruit (mostly used as a vegetable). However, I have learned over the past few years that preparation is key. If you prepare anything right, it can be delicious. Not everything prepared in every way would be favourable for everyone. For example, "baigan choka" is a definite no-no for me. However, eggplant parmesan, grilled eggplant, moussaka... Yes! It's all about the preparation. With that said, a spicy pumpkin pasta will exceed your expectations. It might be one of my favourite (if not my favourite) ways to eat pumpkin. It surpasses pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin soup - all of which I don't mind eating (some I really enjoy).
Now here's the thing... I work late a lot of days and very often my kitchen is occupied when I get home. So by the time I am able to start/finish dinner, it's already night, and not very ideal for taking photos. But, we work with what we get, and I still took a photo because photos seem to be quite important. They are for me, when I read a recipe anyway. I'll be making this again soon (I did mention it's one of my favourites) so maybe I'll be able to take some proper photos then. 

Spicy Pumpkin Pasta (with Portobellos)
  • 1-2 C. Roasted and Mashed Pumpkin
  • 1 Chipotle in Adobo/1-2 Tsp. Cayenne Powder
  • 1/2 C. Sour Cream/Heavy Cream
  • 2 Large Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Leek (washed and chopped)/One Small Onion
  • 1 1/2 C.Vegetable Stock
  • Fresh/Dried Basil (more if using fresh)
  • Salt and Black Pepper To Taste
  • 3-4 Large Portobellos
  • 200g. Spaghetti
  1. Saute portobellos in butter or olive oil on medium heat with a tiny dash of salt for two minutes until just softened. Remove from pan and set aside for later.
  2. Boil pasta in salted water according to package instructions, then drain. (The pasta can be boiled while the pumpkin is being prepared.)
  3. In the same pan, saute garlic and leek/onion for a few minutes until fragrant. Add pumpkin puree and vegetable stock. Cook until almost all the stock has evaporated. Usually stock would contain salt, so be wary when salting the dish later. Always taste the dish first.
  4. Add cayenne/pureed chipotle and basil. Cook for another minute.
  5. Add sour cream/heavy cream and mix well. 
  6. Toss in pasta and portobellos until well incorporated.
  7. Optionally top with a sprinkle of parmesan although it is not necessary since this dish is already incredibly creamy and flavourful on its own.

Pumpkin has much more to it than just to be eaten in soup or with roti. This recipe also works well with squash. 
I love an excuse to celebrate. Though we do not celebrate Thanksgiving nor do we have four seasons in Trinidad, I am looking forward to making pumpkin pie soon as well as some pumpkin bread! Pumpkin bread is an interesting (quite tasty) alternative to our local version of "sweet bread". Pumpkin pie is not my favourite, but my siblings like it, and as I said... Any excuse to celebrate (with food too)!


  1. Pumpkin is something I never really liked, actually I disliked it for a long time. But after eating this lovely dish from Ariel, I have changed my mind! Honestly, I was so surprised that pumpkin can make pasta taste so great. I really enjoyed this dish, the spices and flavour of the pumpkin were well-balanced and really great. Ariel always makes interesting things!

    Also i love mushrooms n everything, which helps make this dish one of my favs

    1. Thanks for the lovely comments, Shireen! ^_^
      I'll make you some scones soon. I made a batch yesterday. Sorry you didn't get any. Blame Nick! lol