- 300g dry spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 15 sage leaves, thinly sliced + extra to serve
- 1/4 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- 4 cups (600g) cubed pumpkin pieces
- 2 cups (70g) baby spinach
- 80g goat’s cheese, to serve
- sea salt flakes and freshly crushed pepper, to serve
- thyme sprigs, to serve
- Cook spaghetti in a pot of salted, rapidly boiling water for approximately 8 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and drain the rest.
- In a large wide chef’s pan, heat oil on medium. Add garlic, chilli and sage. Sauté for a few seconds until fragrant and garlic starts to caramelize.
- Add the chopped almonds and pumpkin cubes. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt flakes and black pepper. Sauté on medium for approximately 10-15 minutes until pumpkin pieces are caramelized and almost cooked through. Toss constantly and if starting to brown too quickly, reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add cooked spaghetti and reserved pasta water. Mix well and cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add sea salt flakes and black pepper to taste. Cover and cook for another couple of minutes until the pumpkin is thoroughly cooked but still firm.
- Remove from heat. Stir through the spinach. Adjust seasoning to taste. Dollop goat’s cheese and garnish with sage and thyme leaves. Serve.
Cooking Pasta – I use the standard measurement of 75g dry pasta per person. 300g pasta serves 4 in this recipe.
Cooking Pumpkin – I find pan roasting the pumpkin much quicker than oven roasting. It also gives perfectly caramelized cubes that are still firm as opposed to almost dehydrated pieces from roasting in the oven. By pan-frying the pumpkin, the flavour is more intense as the oil in which it is cooked is what the spaghetti gets tossed through.
Seasoning – This is a very simple dish. The seasoning comes from the garlic, chilli, salt and pepper. I have not stipulated exact measurements for salt and pepper as it is very subjective. The saltiness in this dish comes from a few different sources. Bear in mind that the spaghetti is cooked in salted water, some reserved salted pasta water gets added to the final dish. The addition of goat’s cheese also adds a bit of saltiness. But there is nothing worse than bland pasta, so check and adjust seasoning before serving.
Make It Gluten-Free – Substitute with gluten-free spaghetti. Try lentil or quinoa spaghetti for a variation.
Make It Vegan – Skip the goat’s cheese altogether. Or add a vegan soft cheese before serving.
Green Substitution – I have successfully substituted the baby spinach with fresh rocket leaves. Sage leaves can be substituted with thyme and oregano.