Sunday morning we carved our pumpkin. I love the tradition, but man the carving kits, scoopers and patterns are sure different than the old school Jack -o- Lanterns my family made when I was a kid. My dad would take a knife and cut triangle eyes and a nose and a slit for a mouth.
While my husband meticulously carves ghosts, I prepare the pumpkin seeds. This year I added a dash of red pepper flakes, which gave the seeds a nice little kick combined with the salty crunch.
I used a 1/3 of a cup of pumpkin seeds to make Indian Simmer's Pasta in Creamy Tomato Sauce. My stomach growled from the author's rich photographs. It was eye opening for the kids to watch the seeds transform from inside the pumpkin to ground up in their pasta. It was a simple recipe and although the flavor wasn't strong, it is an interesting seasonal variety for noodles. We impulsively stopped by our favorite cheese stop, Pastoral and bought Parmesan from Italy. Grated as a garnish, it added depth and intensity to our dinner.
1 pound spaghetti
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
2 medium size tomatoes
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 cup half & half
2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)
Boil a pot of water. Throw in salt (about 2 tbsp) and olive oil (about 1 tbsp) and then the pasta. Let it cook until al dante.
In the meantime pour 1 tbsp olive in a pan and add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Turn on the heat to medium. Wait for the garlic to slowly turn light golden.
Puree the tomatoes and pumpkin seeds in a blender making a nice smooth paste. Add the puree into the pan when garlic is golden.
Stir occasionally. Let it simmer until all the liquid from the tomato is gone.
Now add half and half and let it simmer. Once the sauce is thick enough according to your choice, turn off the heat. Mix it together with the pasta.
Garnish it with some chopped oregano shaved Parmesan cheese.
This is a great use for your extra pumpkin seeds. The seeds contain natural source of carbohydrates, amino acids and contain B, C, D, E and K vitamins. You most likely have many of the ingredients in the house. I saved the pumpkin insides and am considering making Pumpkin Mac and Cheese or soup this week with it. What other uses to you have for pumpkin? I noticed many recipes call for canned pumpkin, which yes is easier. But, it has got to gain preservatives and why not uses the pumpkin parts that usually end up in the garbage?
What are you eating for Meatless Monday? I'm embracing the fall weather and eating foods that accuentuate the season.