As we all know that pumpkin is officially an icon of Autumn season. Come Halloween, Thanksgiving…I can’t get enough of them. I even stretch it till Christmas…cannot help it, love the color, smell, sight, everything about it!!!
From Jack o’ lanterns on Halloween, to pumpkin lattes, pumpkin flavored pastries, pumpkins adorning the front porches, pumpkins are basically everywhere. We decorate with them, carve them, drink them & also eat them.
This fruit, (scientifically it is a fruit not a vegetable) is used for both savory and sweet dishes. So I decided to add pumpkin to my pasta recipe not only because it is omnipresent during fall/ winter season but also because of it health benefits.
WHY IS THIS PUMPKIN PASTA SUPER NUTRITIOUS!
This orange colored winter squash is not only delicious to taste but equally nutritious with plenty of health benefits:
- Extremely rich in vitamin A: One cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) contains 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin A. It also has vitamins B2, C, and E.
- Low in Calorie: It is very low in calories as it contains 94% water.
- High in Minerals: Apart from being high in vitamins it is abundant in minerals like Potassium, copper, manganese, and iron. It also has small traces of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and folate.
- Loaded with Anti-oxidant: It is also a great source of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that your body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A helps warding off germs, and for your reproductive system to work the way it should. It also takes care of your heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs stay healthy.
- Reduces the Risk of Chronic Diseases: It not only has beta-carotene, it also has plethora of other antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. These anti-oxidants can neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging your cells. These antioxidants also protect your skin from sun damage and lower the risk of cancer, eye diseases and other conditions.
- Boost Immune System: Vitamin A helps strengthening your immune system and vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells. This ultimately aids the immune cells to work effectively and any wounds on the body are healed faster.
- Protects your Eyesight: Research shows that vitamin A deficiency is a very common cause of blindness. People with higher intakes of beta-carotene had a significantly lower risk of cataracts. Pumpkins also has lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds linked to lower risks of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Vitamin A helps you see clearly, especially in low-light conditions.
- Aids Weight Loss: Pumpkin is a weight-loss friendly food because you can consume bigger portions without increasing your daily calorie intake. It also curbs your appetite as it is loaded with fiber.
- Gives You a Healthy, Skin: Carotenoids in pumpkins like beta-carotene can act as a natural sunblock. Vitamin C in pumpkins help you build collagen, a protein necessary for healthy skin.
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Pumpkin Pasta with Sage Butter
FOR SAGE BUTTER
- 1 Tsp Chopped garlic cloves
- ½ Lemon Lemon zest of ½ a lemon
- 2 Tbsps. Softened unsalted butter, 25 gm
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil, + 2 Tbsps. extra
- ½ lemon Lemon juice of ½ a lemon
- 65 gm Mozzarella balls or chopped into small chunks
- ½ Handful sage leaves
- 250 gm Pumpkin peeled seeded & cut into bite sized cubes
- 150 gm Orecchiette pasta shells or any other short pasta shape
- 43 gm Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- ¼ Tsp Salt to taste, + ¼ Tsp extra
- ½ Tsp Ground pepper powder to taste
- Preheat the oven at 300℃.
- Take cubed pumpkin in a bowl, toss in 1 tbsp oil and mix till the pumpkin is coated in oil.
- Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle ¼ Tsp salt and set to bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes till done.
FOR SAGE BUTTER
- While pumpkin is getting done, add garlic, lemon zest, softened butter, olive oil, lemon juice, mozzarella cheese, and sage leaves in a blender.
- Blend into a coarse paste and transfer onto a piece of cling wrap.
- Roll into a cylinder and chill for 30 minutes.
- Cook the pasta in a large pan with salted water, according to the packet instructions (or refer to notes in this post). Drain and return to the pan with the pumpkin and parmesan cheese.
- Slice the mozzarella butter, add to the pan and toss to mix and melt.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in a pre-heated pasta dish topped with sage.
- You can use any short shaped pasta for this recipe, I used Barilla Pasta.
Please refer to the below table on water & salt ratio to use when boiling pasta:
|PASTA :||SALT :||WATER|
|1 Pound of dry pasta||1 Tbsp. salt||4 Quarts (16 cups) water|
|¼ Pound (4 ounce) dry pasta||¾ Tsp Salt||1 Quarts (4 cups) water|
What I like about recipes like this is the prep you can do beforehand to save time.
- You can prepare the sage butter and keep it in the refrigerator.
- When you set the pumpkins in the oven to bake, pull out the sage butter from the refrigerator all ready for you to use.
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