Pumpkins are very common in Uganda. I prefer it to butternut as I find it much sweeter and a little does go a long way. Peel it. Chop it up, pack in ziplock and freeze in your preferred portions. You can roast the seeds, dry and grind the peel and flesh to make flour, use it to make porridge, soups or cook it in curries, stews, breads, and its leaves can be sautéed as a side to ugali, mashed potatoes or used in mashing food like mūkimo, which I already shared here. The green pumpkin is what we get here and its bright orange flesh lends beautiful colour and taste to chapatis and fried cabbage too.
Pumpkins have lots of antioxidants, are a great source of fibre, and best of all; one of the best sources of beta carotene that supports eye health, is converted to Vitamin A in the body and has been touted by some to slow down cognitive decline.
You may find however that your kids do not like it. So here is an easy peasy way to consume it without having to see it. The reason I call this ‘all pumpkin pasta’ is we use both the pumpkin flesh and the leaves to create this creamy sauce that surprisingly goes well with pasta. If you have some toasted pumpkin seeds, go ahead and garnish with them to make a ‘completely pumpkin’ pasta sauce!
Let’s get started shall we? First preheat your oven to 200°C , chop your pumpkin and gather your spices of choice. I used a blend of mixed spices I have shared previously on my ossobuco recipe here. It matches really well with the pumpkin.
You can also be making your pasta at this time. You can use any pasta, I used spaghetti then reserved a ladle or so of the pasta water.
Peel your roasted garlic, and puree together with the roasted pumpkin and the pumpkin leaves. Return to a sauce pan and heat through.
Toss your pasta in the creamy sauce, garnish and serve immediately.
Another easy peasy spaghetti dish that will satisfy your family’s taste buds, doesn’t take long to make and loads them up with healthy benefits too. Try it!