Miso pumpkin pasta

Ingredients

  • 300 g / 10 oz pasta (GF if needed)
  • 500 g / 2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin (I used ½ medium butternut pumpkin)
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white / shiro miso paste
  • ½-1 tsp sambal oelek or other chilli paste or chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp smooth almond butter*
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp almond flakes, optional
  • 1 tbsp high smoke oil (I used rice bran oil), optional
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz kale, optional
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, diced finely

Method

  1. Cook your pasta (I used bucatini) just short of al dente so that you are able to warm it up in the sauce without it overcooking. Reserve 60 ml / ¼ cup pasta cooking water when ready to drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220° C / 425° F (or 200° C / 390° F fan forced) and line a large baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  3. Cut your pumpkin into similar size pieces as much as possible, leaving the skin on. Brush the pieces roughly with a bit of olive oil using a pastry brush, the back of a spoon or even your hands. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping to the other side half way through, until the flesh is very soft and lightly charred in places.
  4. Once your pumpkin cools off a bit, prise the skin off with your fingers (it should come off easily). Mash the flesh with a fork.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine mashed pumpkin, miso paste, chilli paste, rice vinegar, almond butter and pasta cooking water. Mix well using a fork or a wire whisk to obtain a creamy sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.
  6. Heat up a frying pan (or a wok) over a low-medium heat. Dry roast almond flakes, stirring very frequently, until fragrant and golden. Transfer out of the pan and set aside.
  7. If making kale, heat up a tablespoon of high smoke oil in the same pan (or wok) and stir-fry, on medium-high heat, for a few minutes – until vibrant green and charred in places. Season with salt. Remove from the pan / wok and set aside.
  8. Warm up the same pan / wok again. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and swivel it around the pan. Once the oil heats up and starts to shimmer lightly, add the diced garlic and fry gently (on low-medium heat) until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).
  9. Add pumpkin sauce to the garlic oil. If the sauce is too stiff, add a splash of water. Add pre-cooked pasta to warm it up and toss well in the pumpkin sauce. Plate pasta sprinkled with toasted almond flakes and with stir-fried kale on the side.

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