[Recipe 2] CREAMY PUMPKIN TAGLIATELLE with CANDIED CHILLI WALNUTS
Yeehaw, it’s Pumpkin season! I love a steaming bowl of Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup for lunch, and roasting the veggies first brings out their sweetness, and adds a richer flavour.
Reserve some of the soup as planned-overs (look for the ♦ orange diamonds) and you can whip up a delectable Creamy pumpkin tagliatelle with candied chilli walnuts. Our youngest calls this dish ‘cheesey worms’. Little does he know the golden colour is imparted by pumpkin, not cheese.
This is a 10-minute dinner as the sauce is prepared while the pasta is cooking. It’s like a creamy Alfredo (that word casts me straight back to Leos in Fitzroy Street in the early 90s), but with less than half the cream and lots more flavour.
The candied chilli walnuts cut through the creaminess of the pasta sauce and add a beautiful textural topping. I strongly suggest you roast double the amount as you won’t be able to stop yourself gorging on them. Incidentally, they make an excellent beer snack too!
[Recipe 1] Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup
Ingredients (makes 3.25 litres/6.9 pints):
2 kilos (4 lb) peeled chopped butternut pumpkin (you’ll need 2½ kilos whole pumpkin)
250g (½ lb) peeled sliced carrots (you’ll need 3 large carrots, approx. 350g)
3 brown onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
6 cups (1½ litres) chicken stock, home-made or store-bought, plus extra if required
⅛ teaspoon chilli powder
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Spring onions (scallions), or chives, thinly sliced, to serve
Preheat oven to 220°C (425ºF).
Place pumpkin, carrots, onions, garlic, oil and maple syrup into a large roasting pan and toss until well-coated. Roast for 1 hour, turning vegetables every 20 minutes.
Blend roasted veggies (and their juices) in batches, adding a little stock each time. Transfer to a large saucepan as you go. Add chilli, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Add extra stock if you find the soup too thick.
♦ Reserve 1½ cups (375ml) of Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup for the creamy pumpkin tagliatelle with candied chilli walnuts.
To serve, gently heat soup and ladle into deep bowls, scatter with spring onions and serve with crusty bread.
Divide the remainder of the soup into plastic containers, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. This recipe makes approximately 3.25 litres (6.9 pints). 4 cups (1 litre) is sufficient for four people.
- 2¼ kilos (4½ lb) of veggies seems an obscene amount, but if you’re going to the trouble of making a pan of soup, I say why not cook up a huge pot? It freezes excellently and is great for school and work lunches. Simply defrost in the morning and pour into thermoses.
- You can of course make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable stock.
- Try any mixture/ratio of orange vegetables (sweet potato is lovely too), as long as the quantity adds up to 2¼ kilos (4½ lb) of prepared veggies in total.
- We like our soup thick – feel free to add extra stock if you prefer yours thinner.
[Recipe 2] Creamy pumpkin tagliatelle with candied chilli walnuts
Ingredients (serves 4):
400g (14 oz) dried tagliatelle
1 tablespoon (15g/½ oz) butter
2 eschalots, finely sliced
4 rashers rindless bacon, chopped
♦ 1½ cups (375ml) reserved Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup
150ml (5 fl oz) cream (I use light cooking cream)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, to serve
For the candied chilli walnuts:
¾ cup (approx. 75g) walnuts, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon olive oil
½ tablespoon maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon chilli powder (a good pinch)
To prepare the candied chilli walnuts, preheat oven to 220°C (425ºF). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Toss walnuts, oil, maple syrup and chilli together; and scatter on the tray. Roast for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a plate to cool, while you prepare the pasta.
Cook tagliatelle in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain. Return to pan and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the eschalots, stirring, for 2–3 minutes. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes.
♦ Place reserved Maple roasted pumpkin and carrot soup in a small saucepan.
Warm gently, then gradually pour in the cream. Stir over a low heat until warmed through.
Toss bacon, onions and creamy pumpkin sauce through pasta.
Divide amongst bowls and serve immediately, scattered with candied chilli walnuts and parsley.
- If you have some fresh sage, toss a handful of torn leaves into the butter with the bacon. Delish.
- You can roast the walnuts at the same time as the veggies in recipe 1. They’ll keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Save on the washing up and cook a few corn cobs with the tagliatelle, to serve alongside dinner. Fish them out of the pasta pot before draining the pasta.
- I always buy 300ml (10 fl oz) tubs of cream, and freeze the leftover 150ml (5 fl oz) cream in its tub. Allow it to defrost in the fridge overnight and use it for this recipe again; or for Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart or Chicken and leek pot pie. 150ml (5 fl oz) cream can also be used for a simple carbonara for 4 people. Fry 4–6 slices chopped thickly-sliced pancetta (or bacon) in 2 tablespoons (30g) butter. Add 150ml (5 fl oz) cream and stir until combined. Whisk 2 eggs. Stir pancetta, cream and eggs through just-cooked fettuccine until combined. Serve, scattered with parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper (or dried chilli flakes). Too easy. If you have some baby spinach leaves or peas, toss in the pot with the pasta for the last two minutes cooking time.