Is the idea of a fall-food flavored pasta weird? If it is, then I love weird pasta.
In an effort to get excited about autumn, I’ve been doing my best to pick up some new ingredients. Goodness knows I’m not looking forward to winter, so food may be the only way I can actually celebrate the changing of the seasons. One of the ingredients I picked up was a little tub of organic pepitas. Pepitas are pumpkin seeds, and they are usually sold with the white hull removed, revealing a smooth olive green seed. If you decide to use pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins you carve this year, be sure to wash and dry the seeds throughly and roast them in a low oven for an hour or so until dry and toasty. Don’t worry about removing the white hull.
This pasta is flavored with tamari and maple syrup, but only a little of each. This coats the pasta and gives it a nice, balanced sweet flavor without actually being a full-on sauce. The spinach is sauteed with red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, the cranberries add a pop of sweet tanginess, and the crushed pepitas round the whole thing out. It’s really a lovely meal, and what’s more, it’s super easy to prepare. It should only take as long to make this dish as the pasta takes to cook.
I made it for lunch, so this recipe only serves one. It should be very easy to increasing the servings should you want to make it for more than one person.
Pepita Fettucini with Spinach and Cranberries
Fettucini for One (which, is it just me, or is that 1/2 the box that “serves 8″?)
1/3 Cup Raw, Unsalted Pepitas
1 Tbs Oil
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 Large Handfuls Spinach, torn
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Maple Syrup
2-3 Fresh Thyme Sprigs, optional
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to boil. While the water is heating, run the pepitas around in your food processor until pretty finely chopped. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add spinach. Use tongs to coat the spinach in the hot oil. Add the red pepper flakes, the tamari and maple syrup, and the thyme if you’re using it. Toss in the cranberries and mix everything up really well. Turn heat to low (or just turn it off and cover it until your pasta is cooked).
Drain pasta and add it to your skillet. Add crushed pepitas and toss well until everything is coated. Taste a noodle and see if you need an extra splash of tamari and/or maple syrup. The noodles should look like they don’t have a sauce on them, but they’ll taste like they do.