Many of you must be knowing how big a foodie I'm! Of course I love to try out new dishes, go to new eateries and cook when I've time. So when I came across a Del Monte competition organized by Indiblogger, I was super excited for several reasons:
- I loveeeeee Italian cuisine. Pasta, ravioli, lasagna. You name it and I love it. Disclaimer: I've loved everything that I've tasted until now of the cuisine.
- I love experimenting, and this competition just gave a legitimate reason to do that!
- One of my dream vacations has been to go to Italy and learn the cuisine from the native but fat chance of that due to several reasons: I'm vegetarian and I wonder if they would have vegetarian version of every dish, and secondly, who the heck has that kind of money? Well, certainly not me.
Getting down to the recipe invention business, after racking my brain I came upon the idea of pumpkin pasta. I know it sounds weird but believe me, it tastes awesome. If you are thinking why pumpkin, again there are several reasons:
- Pumpkin is highly nutritious
- I love pumpkin
- I wanted to do a healthy recipe so that I can feel proud of myself later on
- I wanted to do something out of the box
- 300-350 gms of pumpkin
- 500 gm of toned milk
- 250 gm of farfalle pasta, or any other kind of your choice
- 1 big onion
- 7-8 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoon oil, olive oil preferable
- 1/2 regular spoon cinnamon; if you don't like cinnamon, you can always avoid it. The pasta will still taste awesome ;)
- 1/2 regular spoon freshly grounded black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Water as required
Another shortcoming of mine is laziness. So when I cook, I do everything while in the kitchen. I won't first cut the veggies and then start cooking. I will do everything at once.
The first thing I did was to cut the onions in cubes and peel the garlic. For quick peeling, make a small mountain of unpeeled cloves and then try to roll them with the rolling pin. Due to the pressure of the rolling pin, the skin will start coming off quickly. However, do take care that your cloves do not fly off while you are trying to roll them or you will be rolling empty space ;)
Take a heavy-bottom pan, heat the oil and then add garlic and onions. You don't need to worry about chopping garlic or cutting onion in small pieces. Everything is going to be pureed and so even if it's big, no issues.
While my onions and garlic were sauteing, I started cutting the pumpkin in big cubes. Once garlic and onions start browning, like in the below image, add pumpkin cubes.
Along with pumpkin, add water until the pumpkin is submerged. But not too much or it will lose all its flavor!
Turn the gas on full flame and cook it. You can also use pressure cooker for this but I don't like much of pressure cooker food because I think they lose out the flavor that you get otherwise. So once the water burns out, your pumpkin would be cooked and it will look like the below image.
Once the mixture cools, put it in the mixture and blend it to make a smooth paste like the below.
Next step is to add back the paste in the pan (I used the same one because who needs to dirty more pans without reason?), add milk, 750 ml of water, cinnamon, pepper, salt and pasta (yes, uncooked ones).
Put the lid over the pan and cook it on medium flame. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and give it a stir. Keep on cooking until pasta cooks to your liking. Add water if required but due to pumpkin paste and milk, it will start getting creamy. Once the pasta is cooked and it's saucy like it appears below, you are done!
Serve the pasta with green crunchy salad and hot, piping garlic bread. My presentation is not much because I don't have enough crockery in the new home! But believe me, it really looks good.
If you try this recipe, please let me know how you found it. I'd love to hear from you. Enjoy!