Miso pumpkin pasta
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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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