Pumpkin Pasta with Eyeballs

Well, it is that time of year when you can legitimately have some fun with your food. As well as putting pumpkin in everything, let’s make our food a little spooky too! This pumpkin pasta sauce is a doddle, just bake it in the oven while you get on with something more important – making an elaborate Halloween costume perhaps? Then either serve the pasta and sauce as they are, or if you want to go the extra mile, bake some meatballs (my plant based recipe is below) and top with sliced cheese and olives to make them into eyeballs.

I’ll be sharing some other Halloween food inspo soon, but I would love to know your Halloween classics. Let me know in the comments.

Liz x

Pumpkin Pasta Ingredients (serves 4-6 people)

  • 1/2 a kuri squash pumpkin (or butternut), gutted and diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic to ward off the vampires, peeled
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Olive oil, salt & pepper to taste
  • 500g dried pasta

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Find a deep baking dish.
  2. Tumble the diced pumpkin/squash and peeled garlic cloves into the dish.
  3. Drizzle generously with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands then bake for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Remove the dish from the oven, mash the vegetables with a fork then tip in the two tins of chopped tomatoes. Season again with some extra salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir well then return the dish to the oven for another 20 minutes or so until hot and bubbling. Meanwhile cook your pasta in boiling water according to the instructions on the packet.
  6. Drain the pasta and stir it through the hot sauce. Enjoy as it is or with meatballs, cheese slices and olives (see below for my vegan meatball recipe).

Vegan Meatballs Ingredients (makes approx 40 small balls)

  • 50g nuts (walnuts are brilliant here but any fatty nut will do)
  • 50g pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 150g porridge oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 onion & 4 cloves of garlic, diced and fried in a little olive oil until soft
  • 2 tins of cooked lentils, drained
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • a handful of chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. You will need a food processor with an S blade attachment. Pulse the nuts and seeds first until they resemble course flour.
  2. The add the remaining ingredients and pulse together, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally, until you have a thick, rustic paste. Don’t over-blend, it’s nice to retain a bit of texture.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt, pepper or herbs.
  4. Then form the balls by squishing a small amount of the mixture together using your cupped palm and fingers. Gently roll between your palms into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
  5. Toss with a little vegetable oil and bake until hot. Around 20 minutes at 200C is sufficient, these veggie meatballs can get a little drier than their meaty counterparts so be careful not to overcook. Turn the meatballs halfway through cooking. Serve in pasta sauce or with mash and gravy.

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