Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Easy Does It!

Pasta alla Zucca & Capuliato
Pasta with Pumpkin & Capuliato (Sicilian Ground Sun-Dried Tomatoes)


Another simple pasta dish- and yes, pasta dishes should ALWAYS be simple! There is no need to stress or fuss when it comes to making a good plate of pasta- choose just a few flavorful ingredients and let them do all the work for you!


Speaking of flavorful ingredients, I used one of my favorite Sicilian ingredients in this dish this evening, as I have just brought back a batch from my trip over the holidays... Capuliato- which is basically sun-dried tomatoes that have been ground into a coarse paste. Its super-intense flavor is absolutely fantastic when it comes preparing any number of traditional Sicilian dishes- or even when preparing something that is my own little creation like this!


My ingredients were pumpkin, 1 shallot, 1 tablespoon Capuliato, a little fresh parsley, parmesan cheese, olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper... that simple! In this case, the pumpkin I used was a Hokkaido, which does not need peeling. You will need about 1 coffee-cupful of grated pumpkin per portion.
The result is sweet and tangy and delicious and makes a great change from the typical tomato sauces- you should give it a try for sure!


Apart from being really inexpensive to make, it can all be made in just 20 minutes- so that makes it better still, right? And should you not be able to buy capuliato where you live, of course you can grind your own sun-dried tomatoes or finely chop them- the flavor is all the same... but I am lucky enough to be Sicilian and to have the real thing- hehe!


Simply grate the pumpkin and finely chop both the shallot and the stalks of the parsley.


Sauté them together in a little olive oil, with plenty of pepper and nutmeg- you can do without salt as the capuliato is salty enough to do all of the seasoning for you.

In the meantime, pop your pasta in to boil for around 5 minutes- the time it will take for the shallot and pumpkin to soften and begin becoming tender.


Once the pumpkin changes color and begins to soften, add the capuliato and make sure to crumble it apart so that it disperses evenly in the pan.


After 5-6 minutes of boiling, add the pasta and enough of the water it has boiled in to cover the bottom of the frying pan.


Keep gently stirring until the pasta finishes cooking and soaks up all of the water and juices from the capuliato and the pumpkin. Then add a generous sprinkle of parsley, grab yourself a plate... and get ready to enjoy!


Add a few shavings of Parmesan cheese and a last dusting of pepper... and get ready for a real, tasty treat!

Simple it may be, but at the same time it is simply delicious... and pretty as a picture to boot!


 A plate of pasta-perfection, anyone?

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