Pasta and pumpkin
Pasta and pumpkin in my opinion is an absolutely delicious meal. Maybe I love it because pumpkin is sweet and I do have a sweet tooth or maybe because of the orange colour which makes me very happy! Pasta and pumpkin has been one of my favourite dishes since I was very little: my mum used to prepare it only for the “girls” of the family, my sister-in-law, herself and me, as the “men” of the family disliked it. And at today I am in the same situation… my boys here at home don’t like pumpkin, so I prepare it just for me as a light meal I can have when I eat by myself.
Pumpkin is nice with pasta but also with rice, the preparation is exactly the same. As a matter of fact you will see that in this recipe I cook the pasta as it was rice. This method of cooking pasta as rice is called “risottatura” in Italian and I use it to cook all sort of pasta dishes, mainly with legumes and vegetables. You will discover more in the future as I will write more recipes…
Pasta and pumpkin – the recipe
Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 25 min
Weight Watchers ProPoints per portion: 6
50 g pasta
300 g pumpkin (weight without skin)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 green chilli pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper to taste
Wash the pumpkin, peel it and cut it into cubes. Fry the sliced garlic and chilli pepper (if used) in the tsp of olive oil until the garlic just starts becoming golden (don’t burn it please!). Add the pumpkin cubes and some salt. Mix well, cover the pan and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin starts falling apart ad becoming a pulp. Add some water to cover the pumpkin and bring it to boil.
While the water boils weight the pasta, I used some small penne but any short pasta will do. As soon as the water boils add the pasta in and mix well. Keep mixing the pasta and pumpkin adding hot water when it becomes too dry. Keep doing this until the pasta is fully cooked making sure not to water it too much: just as you would cook a risotto, little water at the time. The final result must be a pasta a little wet but not a soup!
Adjust the salt to taste and serve pasta and pumpkin light in a deep plate dusted with the parmesan cheese and decorated with the chopped parsley. If you like it a little freshly ground pepper is very nice on this dish!
by Giovanna Buono
Pasta and pumpkin is low in calories but very nutritious thanks to all the goodness stored in the pumpkin. If you like to eat this dish as a main course, add a little extra pasta and eat some proteins, like a small piece of mature cheese or some grilled chicken, together with a mixed salad to make it complete. And, of course, count all the extra points!