It’s almost the middle of the week so today’s dish is a no fuss, simple, mid-week supper. If, like me, you always have a container full of roasted pumpkin in your fridge during autumn, you will have your dinner on the table in no time at all.
If you need to roast your pumpkin, you can always do a quick yoga session while your oven does its magic. That’s what I’ve been trying to do lately – incorporate small yoga sessions into any waiting time.
I have a love/hate relationship with yoga. I know I need it as I have the flexibility of a small tank, but because I really suck at it, I tend to procrastinate. My current strategy is to develop a yoga habit (certainly much better than my current chocolate one;)) by finding 20 minutes to practise each day. Waiting for your veggies to finish roasting is as good a time as any. Once you finish, you’ll be in a good mood and your dinner will be just minutes away.
While many people enjoy pumpkin desserts, I’m a sucker for savoury dishes punctuated with this sweet vegetable. Its caramelised goodness goes so well with the flavours of garlic, chilli, spinach, walnuts and lemon that even writing about this makes me salivate. It’s a marriage made in heaven and it’s kind of hard to describe so best make it yourself:).
200 g spaghetti (use gluten-free if you are gluten-intolerant)
3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 cups of cubed butternut squash / pumpkin*
about 100 g spinach
½-1 tsp chilli flakes (depending on level of heat and your preference)
½ lemon, zest and juice
salt and pepper, to taste
30 g walnuts, finely chopped
Coat cubed butternut squash in 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Bake in a hot oven (225º C / 435º F) for about 40-50 minutes, until butternut squash turns soft and gets lightly caramelised.
Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Fry off garlic gently on a low-medium heat, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Add chilli flakes and cook for another minute or two stirring frequently.
Cook spaghetti for a minute shorter than you would normally.
Mash half the butternut squash with a fork or potato masher (you can also use a food processor or blender for a smoother texture). Put both mashed and whole butternut squash chunks into the pan with chilli and garlic.
Add drained pasta and washed spinach into the pan. Incorporate them well into the pumpkin. Taste and season with pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and additional salt and chilli if needed.
Serve immediately with chopped walnuts and lemon zest on top.
*I’ve had a lot of enquiries, mostly from my USA-based readers, asking me why this recipe has pumpkin in the name when it uses butternut squash. To my mind, butternut squash (also known as ‘butternut pumpkin’ in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and my native Poland, to name just a few…), is a type of pumpkin. You are welcome to use any pumpkin variety you have to hand as long as it has firm and dense (rather than watery) flesh.