This dish is not only filling, but is good for your heart health too. Pumpkin Pesto Pasta is really quick and easy to make, making it not only a perfect dinner, but also a great lunch the next day.
Pumpkin – Rich in carotenoids that convert to vitamin A, the availability of vitamin A in the body is increased when consumed with fats. By roasting the pumpkin with olive oil this helps absorption of vitamin A in this dish.
Basil – This fantastic herb has many vitamins and minerals including small amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and in particular is a really good source of vitamin K.
Cashews – An excellent source of energy, cashews are also rich in monounsaturated fats. What does this mean? Well monounsaturated fats help to protect against heart disease and inflammation.
Recipe: Pumpkin Cashew Pesto Pasta
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Chop pumpkin into approx 20 cubes (allow approx 10 cubes of pumpkin per person) and add to a baking tray with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Roast for approx 30 minutes, turning the pumpkin every 10 minutes.
After 15 minutes of the pumpkin roasting, cook the spaghetti according to instructions. This will take around 10 minutes.
Once the spaghetti is cooked drain and place into a bowl.
Stir the pesto mixture through the spaghetti.
Top with pumpkin and serve.
While the pumpkin is cooking you can make a start on the pesto. Heat a frying pan (with no oil) and dry roast the cashew nuts until a roasted brown colour. This should take no more than a few minutes and then place to one side to cool.
Remove the kale leaves from the stem and place into the food processor. Also place the bunch of basil (saving a few leaves for decoration), avocado, juice of one lemon, salt + pepper and blitz until finely chopped.
Add 2 tbsp olive oil and blitz again.
Add the cashew nuts last and blitz the mixture leaving the cashew nuts quite chunky.
Switch the spaghetti for courgetti for a lighter meal.
This recipe can also be made without kale and avocado if you don’t have these in supply.
I use a standard cup measure. If you don’t have one you can use a mug and substitute the amount for approx 3/4 of a standard mug.
Have leftover kale? Use it to make my Kale and Lemon salad (hyperlink).
Find your Ingredients
Pumpkin, kale, avocado, lemon – fruit and veg aisle
Gluten free spaghetti – spaghetti or health food aisle
Basil - herbs in the fruit and veg aisle
Cashews - nuts in the baking aisle
Have you made this yet? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
van Dijk, SJ, Feskens, EJ, Bos, MB, de Groot, LC, de Vries, JH, Muller & M, Afman, LA 2012, ‘Consumption of a high monounsaturated fat diet reduces oxidative phosphorylation..’, Journal of Nutrition, vol. 142, no. 2, pp. 1219-1225, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
Gillingham, LG, Harris-Janz, S & Jones, PJ 2011, ‘Dietary monounsaturated fatty acids are protective against metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease risk factors’, Lipids, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 209-228, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.