Give me a pumpkin and some bacon and my first inclination is always to make Pumpkin Soup. Even though I know it’s my daughters’ favourite and the weather has turned decidedly cooler, I just didn’t feel like eating soup for dinner last night. So I came up with this yummy pasta dish. Pasta is always a crowd pleaser with kids at the table and my husband is a little partial to it too.
I was given this little Butterkin to try at a Foodie event I attended earlier this week – they’re a cross between a Pumpkin and a Butternut. Bright orange flesh, smooth and creamy in texture and a thinnish skin which is easily peeled with a regular peeler. You know how some pumpkins are just an absolute mission to cut through and then peel? This is not one of them!
Fried Sage leaves would have been more than perfect in this dish, but I didn’t have any, and I did have an abundance of Mint leaves so guess what, I thought I’d fry up some Mint leaves instead. They were OK, they looked pretty, the texture was great, but I’d definitely use Sage next time.
Since we all eat the same meal now and my almost 14 month old is eating at the table with us, I make sure I’m cooking foods he will be able to eat and that he will enjoy too. He is such an enthusiastic eater and he gobbled down two decent sized bowls of this meal, so I’ll consider it a keeper.
Sometimes it’s nice to find new things to do with ingredients we usually always assign to a tried and true recipe. I’m happy to have found a way to include more winter vegetables into less traditional pairings. I hope you and your family enjoy it too!
- 1 small pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Mint leaves (ideally Sage leaves are best)
- 2 T butter
- 250 g (around 10 strips of streaky bacon)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 C cream (or 1 cup sour cream)
- 1/2 - 1 C chicken stock
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- spaghetti, cooked to packet instructions until el dente.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Put chopped pumpkin on an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and season before placing into the oven for 30-40 minutes (or until roasted and tender).
- Heat the butter in a large fry pan and add mint leaves, frying for 3-4 minutes until transparent and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Fry bacon until crispy, remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Chop roughly. Set aside.
- In a large fry pan over medium heat, heat 2 T olive oil. Add sliced red onion and cook for around two minutes until soft. Add crushed garlic and a pinch of salt and allow to cook for another couple of minutes.
- Add the cream or sour cream and bring to the boil, add stock and stir well. Leave to cook for a couple of minutes, during which time the sauce will reduce.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions until el dente. Drain and add to the pan.
- Add the baby spinach leaves to the pan as well as the bacon.
- Once roasted pumpkin is ready, add this to the pan too and gently toss to combine. Season to taste.
- Plate up into bowls before topping with grated Parmesan cheese and the fried mint leaves.