Gluten Free – Dairy Free – Egg Free – Vegan
Pumpkin pesto is a new favourite of mine. The recipe uses all the ingredients a pesto sauce would normally use but I have added roasted pumpkin for a seasonal change. When enjoyed in moderation, pesto can enhance health and nutrient intake.
A traditional pesto sauce with its combination of olive oil, pine nuts, fresh basil, garlic and a strong cheese like parmesan, offers a punch of flavour to a pasta dish. It’s also packed full of nutrients which many other sauces can lack.
However, what makes this food considered healthy, is the unsaturated fat content. When consumed in moderation, unsaturated fat can contribute to an improvement in cholesterol, as well as decreasing inflammation in the body. Iinflammation is associated with a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers and many other conditions associated with ageing.
Commercial pestos can contain lots of salt and while I disagree that all salt is bad for you I think by making pesto at home it allows you to control the ingredients. Pesto is one of my favourite pasta sauces and it’s easy to do. Plus, for busy people, it’s a very quick meal and the sauce can be used in other dishes such as fish, chicken or pizza. Well worth a try.
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Baking tray
- Measuring Jug
- Food processor
- Pumpkin x 1 small
- Basil x 1 large handful
- Olive oil x 80mls plus extra for drizzling later
- Pine nuts x 100g
- Garlic x 4 cloves
- Salt and pepper
- Nutritional yeast x 4 tbsps
- Preheat the oven to 200º and put the baking tray in at the same time.
- Now use the sharp knife and stab the pumpkin a few times to make ventilation holes.
- Once the oven is preheated take the baking tray out and add in the pumpkin whole.
- Place in the oven for 45 – 60 mins depending on the size of your pumpkin.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of hours.
- When the pumpkin has cooled, scoop the seeds out, then remove the flesh from the skin.
- Next, add as much of the pumpkin flesh as you like and then add the pine nuts, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and the nutritional yeast.
- Blend for a good five minutes and serve with a cooked pasta of your choice!
Pumpkin Pesto is a delicious dinner that is a great family meal. If you do not have time to prepare the pumpkin before making the meal you could always make the puree at the weekend. Then it can be frozen and defrosted before making the pesto. The pesto can also be frozen as all the ingredients are freezable. So if you’re a single or a couple this is a great sauce to keep in the freezer. However you decide to enjoy this meal, as always, enjoy.
Pumpkins are a seasonal fruit in October, what recipes do you like to use pumpkin in? I love to hear about what you do with pumpkins so let me know in the comments below.