Saturday, April 18, 2009

Autumn Pasta x Deux

I know, I know, I didn't post every day like I promised or even every second day. But here, take my hand and let me make it up to you with not one but two glorious, easy, very seasonally appropriate pasta dishes. I have to admit I have nothing very witty or clever to say about these babies. They just make for good, tasty everyday fare. Although one is based on a pretty classic combination they're both improvised, so instructions are somewhat loose. Feel free to experiment wildly.

Roast Pumpkin and Sage Brown Butter Fettuccine

Feeds 3-ish

1 300g packet of egg fettuccine or linguine
1/2 a butternut pumpkin, peeled and cubes into 1cm pieces, seeds reserved
A splash of olive oil
3 tbs of quality butter (or to taste)
1/2 a bunch of sage (a small handful)
Grated or shaved Parmesan, to serve.

1. Toss the pumpkin cubes in olive oil and bake at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes or until tender and golden. I like to roast the seeds, too (they take on a lovely popcorn flavour and are scientifically proven to make you happy - true story), so I usually chuck them in with the pumplkin after about 15 minutes in so they don't burn.
2. Cook your pasta according to packet instructions
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the sage and cook until the butter is slightly brown and the sage is crispy.
4. Drain pasta, top with pumpkin pieces and seeds, drizzle over sage butter and serve with salt and pepper, plenty of Parmesan and a green salad.

Tomato, Puy Lentil and Spinach Penne

Feeds 4-ish

400g penne
3/4 cup puy lentils
A splash of olive oil
3 anchovies (optional)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 400g tins tomatoes
a splash of wine (optional)
2 big handfuls baby spinach
a nob of butter (optional)
flat leaf parsley, to serve


1. Prepare lentils according to packet instructions. This usually involves boiling them for 20 minutes.
2. Warm the olive oil in a large fry pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, chili flakes and anchovies if desired and cook for a minute or until anchovies have dissolved and garlic is transparent.
3. Add tomatoes and a splash of wine if using. Bring to the boil.
4. Reduce to simmer and add the spinach. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until sauce has reduced slightly, spinach has wilted and tinned tomatoey flavour is gone.
5. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to packet instructions.
6. Serve sauce on top of, or mixed through pasta and topped with plenty of flat leaf parsley. Rusticly charming.


Toddette said...

I made the Roast Pumpkin Fettuccine last night – needed to cut the pumpkin smaller (1cm cubed) and cook for longer (about 40 mins) also my sage didn’t go crispy – what did I do wrong?

Julia said...

Toddette - I agree that maybe cutting the pumpkin smaller could work better. Also, my oven is incredibly slow, so I always cut down the cooking time so that people with ultra modern super fast ovens don't burn their food. But thanks for the tip.
I'm not sure about the sage, maybe your butter should have been hotter? Usually it crisps up pretty quickly.
Hope things work better for you next time!