Winter is a lot slower in the garden (you can read all about that here) but our green, leafy veggies are thriving. I'm always thinking up new ways to use our greens. Although I have lots of different winter greens recipes up my sleeve, pasta is my go to. This is one of the many pasta dishes we have been eating this winter, utilising our luscious greens.
I used a mix of silverbeet, wild spinach and bok choy in this dish, but you could use any combination of greens that you like. In terms of pumpkin, Butternut or Barbara work well because of the lovely sweetness they add to the dish.
It’s important to source a good quality feta and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling as it really does make a difference. I bought the feta from Prom Country Cheese in Moyarra who make the most spectacular sheep’s milk and cow’s milk cheese. Definitely worth a trip of you’re ever in South Gippsland.
Gluten free penne with pumpkin, winter greens and feta
750g butternut or Barbara pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1.5cm pieces
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
A couple of good lugs of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Gluten free (or regular) penne
1 large brown onion, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A big bunch of winter greens, stems finely sliced, leaves roughly chopped
75g good quality feta
Preheat oven to 180˚C fan forced. Place pumpkin on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves, salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with a spoon and then spread pumpkin out into a single layer. Cook for 30 minutes or until fork tender and golden.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of salted water according to packet instructions. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water for later use.
While pumpkin is cooking, add a good lug of olive oil to a large, non stick frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook on a medium heat for about 7-10 minutes, until the onion is lovely and soft and lightly coloured. Add the stems from the greens and sauté with the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the leaves and cook until they have wilted, another 5-10 minutes.
Add the drained pasta to the frypan, along with the reserved cooking water. Give everything a good stir. Toss in the pumpkin and gently stir through to combine.
Divide pasta between three or four bowls. Sprinkle over the feta and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.