Easy miso pumpkin pasta

Easy miso pumpkin pasta

miso pumpkin pasta portion

If, like me, you don’t seem to be able to find your place on Earth, you’ll be familiar with the following scenario. You are happy and settled but suddenly you get an itch to turn your life upside down again. You sit on it for a while, eventually it’s now or never.

You make the decision (with a fair amount of emotional toing and froing). You start packing all your possessions into boxes. You grossly underestimate how much s**t (sorry, but that’s what it is in the big scheme of things) you actually own. You get annoyed at every single excess item: ‘what was I thinking?’ You sell some stuff, give some away. You manage to pack everything and load it onto a truck. As soon as the truck drives off into the distance, you feel a sense of relief and freedom. Sod it, you think, why do I need to all this ‘stuff’ anyway!?

You live out of a small suitcase for over a month. Initially, it’s fun, but eventually you get tired of wearing the same five t-shirts and two jumpers on repeat. You are now anxiously waiting for your stuff to arrive. You manage to find a new home yet it has none of the things you need to get even simple things done…Like cook a meal, for example.

You still remember way too clearly what it felt like to have too much stuff and your things are supposed to turn up any minute now so you resist the temptation to buy things you already own. It’s time to play the “let’s pretend we are camping” game…

This miso pumpkin pasta is designed for moments like this. If MacGyver (yes, I’m an 80’s child) was a foodie, he would appreciate the simplicity of this meal. You don’t need a blender or a speed peeler or even a decent kitchen knife to make the sauce. You do need an oven, an oven tray, a pot to cook pasta in and a wok (that’s the only pan-resembling thing I have at the moment) or a large pan. You cut your pumpkin without peeling it first, you mush it with a fork, mix in seasonings and simple condiments to create a creamy killer sauce.

You know how I said it was simple, well, it is, although I (of course) would not be myself if I didn’t feel compelled to add a touch of green (stir-fried kale) and a crunchy element of pan-toasted almonds, but you can totally do without these two things! If you like the base flavours, I guarantee you will enjoy this ‘camping’ concoction… If you want to take my camping game more literally, you could probably make it with canned pumpkin, although I’m no expert as it’s not something the UK is big on. I might have to have a few more of these in the next week and as the shipping company has stopped returning my calls. I am beginning to get worried…

miso pumpkin pasta prep

miso pumpkin pasta

miso pumpkin pasta lunch

serves
4
PREP
10 min
COOKING
35 min
serves
4
PREPARATION
10 min
COOKING
35 min
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.

NOTES
*Smooth peanut butter also works well.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
496
25%
sugars
9 g
10%
fats
19 g
28%
saturates
2 g
12%
proteins
15 g
31%
carbs
69 g
26%
*per serving
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5.0
4 reviews, 12 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
grace:
Ania, I need to thank you for opening my eyes to how wonderfully miso goes with a squash. I have now tried a few of your recipes featuring this combination and they have all been wonderful- including this one!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks Grace, I'm glad. I am a big fan of miso and it does go wonderfully well with pumpkin / squash in my opinion, I'm happy you think so too! x Ania
Kaitlyn Modz:
Tried this with some leftover pumpkin puree I had, and used peanut butter instead of almond. Made things extra difficult for myself by trying to carmelize some onion sitting in my fridge and also adding mushrooms/a single leftover vegan sausage, chopped up. The result was certainly delicious, and probably super easy with the canned pumpkin if you don't do all the ridiculous additions I did. Though, I will admit I think the mushroom/onions/sausage added a lot of good flavor! Thanks for the recipe :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, I am very happy to enjoyed it and that it sparked your creativity to make it even nicer! x Ania
What is high smoke oil? Is it the same as liquid smoke?
Thanks - looking forward to trying this reci
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi,
    No, high point smoke oil is an oil that can be used at high temperatures without burning, like peanut, rice bran, grapeseed, rapeseed, sunflower oils. This article could be helpful this article. Hope that helps! Ania
Sage:
So delicious!!! I added coconut milk and veg broth to liquify it along with the pasta water. I ate it with GF pasta and also a fresh ravioli. Love this so much - thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's great to hear, thanks so much for your lovely feedback! Ania
Astra:
If I can't find a butternut pumpkin, would a canned pumpkin work?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Astra,
    I've never used canned pumpkin as they do not sell them where I live, but if it's is what it says on the tin, then I don't see why it would not work. I would love to know how you got on. Ania
Marie:
Hi,
I was reading your post and it was so funny, because I have been going through the exact same feeling over the past few days/weeks. We have been moving every 18-24 months for the past 7 years and we just move from California to Ohio. I always love this feeling of freedom when the truck leaves to the point where I am tempted to call them and tell them to keep everything. However, a few weeks later, I am writing this comment while seating on the floor of our new apartment and I cannot wait to have our furniture (especially our chairs) arriving tomorrow. I hope your furniture will arrive soon.
I will keep this recipe that seems so amazing on hand for the next few nights when most of our pots and pans will still be in boxes :)
Thank you for all your amazing recipes.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Marie, it's always nice to find a kindred spirit! :) We do have furniture, but it's all other stuff including my tripod, which I need rather urgently as photographing freehand in this winter light is not working that well for me. We just heard back from them today and it's hoping to be another two weeks...grrr...Hope your items arrive much quicker! Ania
Anne Thomas:
My daughter in law is allergic to nuts....do you think seed butter would work as well as the peanut butter. Hope your 'stuff' arrives soon!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Anne! Yes, certainly, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed butter or tahini would work just as well texture-wise, flavour-wise it will obviously alter it a bit but I think it should still work well. Ania
Lorie:
Ha. I don’t even know what I’d find if I packed up our house!!! This pasta is calling my name!!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    I know, it's always a bit scary (even though I've done it quite a few times now). Glad to hear, hope you'll give this recipe a go! Ania
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