We enjoyed this easy throw-together (as if it were gourmet) while doing the Local Harvest Challenge (see my roundup, here). We were lucky enough to have all the ingredients in our garden and pantry. We used lightly sautéed onion, garlic, zucchini and spinach. You might choose different ingredients to suit what you like or have on hand. (we call this Pumpkin sauce, because we call Butternut a pumpkin)
I’d usually use coconut milk to create the sauce (but I don’t think there are any coconut trees within 160km of our place so used home-made chicken stock that week). No, the fettuccine was neither home-made nor produced within 160km, but everything else was local.
We have many mini butternut pumpkins (squash) ready for the eating from our backyard. Our dog dug up buried Bokashi, thus bringing seeds up to the top of the soil, which allowed them to grow. We let the pumpkins run rampant (along with rockmelons). The plants helped the garden survive some heatwave conditions and the mini pumpkins were the result of not cutting back the vines, I believe. We love them baked whole and have been able to hand them out to family and friends, too.
We also have many “baby spinach” plants (Japanese Mustard Spinach). We use the small leaves in salads and on sandwiches; the larger leaves in stir-fries, soups, etc. These self-seeded when we left one of the original plants to go to seed. We collected a bunch of seeds, but some obviously ended up back in the garden. A great picking garden addition. I have plucked some out of the garden and put in a pot nearer to the back door.
Here’s the recipe… Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of the meal. I will take one next time we have it and update the post.
Pumpkin Sauce Fettuccine
Serves: 2 large serves as a main meal 3-4 as a side or with a salad
Approx 225g (1/2 pound) cooked pumpkin or squash, cut into large chunks *see note
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small zucchini (courgette), cut lengthwise and then sliced
1/2 bunch fresh spinach, chard or silverbeet (cut stalk into small pieces, roll leaves and slice)
Approx 1 cup coconut milk (or stock)
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh or dried herbs of your choice (optional)
Approx 120g (4oz) dry or fresh Fettuccine (or your preferred serving size x 2)
Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- Cook fettucini in boiling salted water as per pack instructions or until al denté.
- Drain pasta and rinse if you wish.
- Sauté onion, garlic, spinach stalks, zucchini and spinach (or vegetables of your choice), in a heavy based pan, in a small amount of olive oil if desired.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Add pasta to the sautéed vegetables and stir through.
- Add cooked pumpkin or squash to the pan and stir gently (pumpkin will break down to some extent to form part of the sauce, but try to retain some visible pieces.
- Return to heat and add coconut milk.
- Season to taste (you could add fresh herbs of your choice at this stage or dried herbs doing sauté)
- Stir gently until heated through (adjust sauce thickness by adding more coconut milk if necessary).
- Serve immediately, topped with grated Parmesan to taste and perhaps with a light salad.
Notes and Tips:
* I baked my butternut whole and scooped out the flesh for this dish, but my pumpkin (squash) was just the right size for the dish (about 450g/ 1lb). Generally, you will get half the amount of cooked baked butternut flesh from a whole raw vegetable (so a 900g/2lb butternut will give approx 1lb cooked flesh). You can boil, steam, microwave or bake squash or pumpkin for this dish.
All quantities are flexible, as are the vegetables used.
Possibilities are endless with this dish: sprinkle some roasted pinenuts and chopped fresh parsley over before serving; use baby spinach leaves and add at last minute; add bacon when sautéing vegetables. Very versatile dish to use as a side to meats or to serve with a light salad. Great for lunch or dinner.
Butternut is a perfect consistency for this dish, but you could try substituting your favourite pumpkin or squash.