Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Pasta With Pan-Fried Pumpkin, Walnut And Parsley Sauce.

Today we are going to be rushed in the evening so I made our main meal of the day at lunchtime and we'll just have leftovers or sandwiches for tea.
I found this book (Cooking With Pumpkins And Squash by Brian Glover) in the library and decided that I would like to try and do more with pumpkins and squashes at this time of year as I have never really done anything with them before.

The kids love pasta and I can guarantee they will eat all of their meal if it is some kind of pasta so I chose the punpkin pasta recipe.  I usually shop at Tesco as it is close but I decided that if anywhere would have a selection of interesting pumpkins and squash it would be Sainsbury's (we're staying at my Mum and Dad's house just now otherwise I would go to my local fruit and veg shop which is brilliant).  How disappointing to find that all they had were butternut squash or carving pumpkins.  I bought a small carving pumpkin but I'm sure this recipe could be done better with something a little tastier.

Recipe (Serves 4).

Ingredients - 

150g walnut halves
3 fat cloves garlic, peeled
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp walnut oil
5 tbsp double crea, or creme fraiche
small bunch parsley
freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
650g prepared squash, cut into 1cm thick slices or chunks
1-2 pinches dried chilli flakes, crushed (I just used chilli powder as it's what I had to hand)
400g pasta of your choice
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan, to serve

Method - 

1. Preheat oven to 180 (350) GM 4.  Put the walnuts on a baking tray and toast them in the preheated oven for 5-6 minutes, making sure they don't burn.  Chop 50g of the nuts roughly and set aside then put the remaining 100g in a food processor.
2. Blanch the garlic in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and rinse.  Put the garlic in the processor with the walnuts, add 2 tbsp olive oil, the walnut oil and cream.  Whizz to make a paste.
3. Set aside a third of the parsley, the whizz the remaining two-thirds into the sauce.  Chop the reserved parsley and set aside. Leave the sauce in the processor for now.
4. In a large frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat, add the squash and chilli flakes and cook, turning the squash now and then, until it is tender and lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta.
6. When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 4-5 tbsp of the cooking water.  Whizz enough of this water into the sauce to make it creamy, then season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg.

7. Toss the pasta with the squash, remaining walnuts and parsley and the sauce.  Serve with parmesan.

Tasted good.  As I suspected, the pumpkin was a little bland.  I also found the sauce a little dry so next time I will either try it with the cream rather than the creme fraiche or add a little more oil.  Great tastes for Autumn, though and very filling.

It's a nice little cookbook too.  I might try something else before putting it back to the library.  


  1. That sounds delicious, love the idea of a walnut sauce with the pasta and pumpkin.

  2. Yes, I loved the walnut taste - just screams Autumn.

  3. Yem that looks delish. I adore pumpkin and love walnuts but would never have thought of doing a walnut sauce. Looks so creamy and perfect for this time of year.

  4. Looks delicious and comforting. I'm learning to like pumpkin, so this will be good for me to try.

    Plan B