Whoosh! Can you believe it’ll be October tomorrow? I don’t know where September has gone, but I think it’s safe to say we’re well and truly on our way to Autumn.
And with that, a new beginning. September has very much been a month of high celebration, with our two-year wedding anniversary; worry over the health of our beloved cat, Humphrey; and the escape, reflection, new experiences and relaxation that came with a wonderful walking holiday up and down the (very steep) hillsides of a Greek island.
Minds cleared and refreshed, and short-sleeves being packed away for a while, it’s time to hunker down and take stock of all the comforts and opportunities that come with a new month, and a new season. I’m certainly looking forward to making the most of some of the writing inspiration fostered through hours spent in the isolation of nature; and of course, sharing with you the new recipes I’ve been working on that embody the comforting flavours of this harvest time of year.
So, in the spirit of starting as you mean to go on, I have a recipe that I think will really get you into the spirit of bright skies and cosy weekends. If this Fettuccine with Squash, Sage and Pecans doesn’t have you reaching for a chunky cardigan and a great book to curl up with, I don’t know what will.
Pasta recipes are a bit of a rarity here on The Whole Ingredient, because it’s not an ingredient we cook with very often (you may have noticed that, when it comes to the ‘grain component’, quinoa often has my heart). But when the folks over at Explore Asian invited me to create a recipe for them using their range of bean pastas, I couldn’t resist. Pasta made from beans. It’s so us!
And I have to tell you, it really delivers. Incredibly quick to cook (just five minutes), this range tastes just like regular pasta, has a great consistency, and is made from 100% organic beans. Which means it’s vegan, gluten-free, and whole-food healthy! And because it’s made from beans, it’s a great protein option… she says, eyes to the sky.
For this Autumn-rich recipe, I used the Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine to complement the seasonal colours and flavours of the dish, and provide some great texture. It holds up really well to the robust flavours and forms of the other ingredients, and adds a wholesome dimension to pasta that I think you’re going to love.
This recipe is infused with some fantastic flavours! It’s:
- savoury-sweet and chestnut-infused with red kuri squash (although any thick-skinned squash will be great);
- textured with rich toasted pecans;
- stirred through with a simple sauce flavoured with lemon zest and garlic;
- wrapped up with delicious edamame fettuccine;
- given a little heat with dried chilli flakes; and
- comforting to the max with woody wild mushrooms.
Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
I think you’ll also be happy to know that as well as tasting fantastic, this recipe is really easy to make: it’s a 30-minute wonder, with no gadgets, fussy processes or cupboards-full of pots and pans required.
If you’re looking for something even more comforting and hearty to make from these ingredients, I highly recommend combining the finished dish with a simple marinara sauce and some cashew cheese, and cooking it in the oven for 20 minutes. It makes a truly fabulous pasta bake, with a bit more oomph for the colder months.
So head out this weekend for a lovely wander about the woods, city streets or on the beach; work up an appetite by kicking up the first fall of leaves and look forward to getting home to a big bowl of savoury deliciousness. We’ll be doing just that with a reminiscing walk around our old haunts in Camden, to celebrate twelve years together; a lovely way to look to the past, and jump into a new beginning all at once.
I hope you have a truly wonderful leap into October, wherever it takes you.
- 100g Explore Asian Edamame and Mung Bean Fettuccine
- 30g pecans
- 2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 400g peeled red kuri squash*
- 6 garlic cloves
- 100g wild mushrooms
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Zest of 1 organic/unwaxed lemon
- Chop the squash into 1cm cubes, and roughly slice the mushrooms, sage and garlic.
- Chop the pecans and put in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Toast for 2-3 minutes, then set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the oil and add the squash. Cook for 5 minutes before stirring in the garlic, mushrooms, sage and chilli flakes. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- At the same time, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the pasta in the water for 5-8 minutes (I found 5 minutes was ample).
- Now add the salt, pepper, and 2 ladles of pasta water to the squash. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan, along with the pecans and lemon zest, reserving a little of the zest for serving. Stir it all together gently, so everything is coated in the sauce created from the water.
- Serve in pre-warmed bowls with an extra sprinkling of lemon zest.
This post was sponsored by, and written on behalf of, Explore Asian. All opinions are my own. Find out more about the full range of Explore Asian Bean Pasta here.
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