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Pasta with Pumpkin

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Level: Easy

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Description

Pasta with Pumpkin is a simple and delicious vegetarian (or vegan if you skip the grated Parmesan) dish commonly found all over Italy. It’s especially widespread in Naples (where this recipe comes from) and Southern Italy.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams Pumpkin
  • 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Chili Pepper (optional)
  • 200 milliliters Water
  • 1 liter Vegetable Stock, Or As Needed
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 300 grams Egg-free Pasta Bows
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley (See Tip In Recipe)
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese To Serve

Preparation

Clean the pumpkin. Slice it open and use a spoon to scrape off all the seeds. With a large knife, remove the skin. Be careful, as the skin is very hard—you’ll have a much easier time by tackling a thin slice at the time. Once pumpkin is clean, dice into small cubes about 1 cm in size.

In a very large thick-bottomed casserole, add extra-virgin olive oil, crushed garlic and, if using, chili pepper. Turn heat on very low and cook for a few minutes, taking care that the garlic doesn’t burn. (Tip: To add more flavour, add the parsley stems (without the leaves) tied up in a bunch with food-grade string, and remove before adding the pumpkin! Lots of flavour guaranteed.)

Add diced pumpkin and saute for a few minutes, stirring so the oil coats everything evenly. Add the water, allow water to boil, then cover pan and lower the heat. Leave to simmer for 10–15 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the pumpkin is not sticking to the bottom, and that there’s enough water.

Boil vegetable stock (or substitute water, if preferred) and add 300 ml to the pot. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in pasta and, if necessary, add more water or stock. Cook for 6–7 minutes, then taste to make sure that pasta is cooked al dente and seasoning is to your taste. If pasta is still too hard, cook for a couple more minutes. Don’t be tempted to add too much liquid, just add if liquid is completely absorbed and pasta is not cooked yet. The dish is ready when pasta is cooked al dente and covered uniformly with the creamy pumpkin sauce, and there’s no water left.

Remove from heat. Stir in chopped parsley and serve with grated Parmesan.

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