Roasted Pumpkin and Tomato Linguine

Yet another glamourous vegetarian meal…

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Being an avid foodie I love eating delicious food, but also pushing the boundaries when cooking. Professionally I work in human resources where everything is done procedurally by the book, so I find my creative outlet through cooking. I love trying different herbs, spices, vegetables to create my culinary masterpieces. Coincidentally the results are always, well almost always very rewarding.

My dream is to someday own an all vegetarian restaurant, showcasing vegetarian dishes from around the world. The key to delicious vegetarian meals is always using fresh produce that is in season. Another important tip is know your herbs and spices and the only way to learn all about them is by incorporating them in your everyday cooking.

Today’s recipe is about showcasing the delicious pumpkin we currently have in season in Melbourne. Nothing says winter like a warm hearty pumpkin soup, but today we are stepping the humble pumpkin up a notch with a lip smackingly delicious linguine. 

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Ingredients: 19  Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

  • One packet of linguine pasta
  • Half a butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • Three truss tomatoes, cubed
  • Eight to ten kalamata olives, pitted and diced
  • One red onion, finely sliced
  • Five to six pods of garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • One tablespoon smoked paprika powder
  • One teaspoon red chilli powder
  • One teaspoon of cumin powder
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Six to eight sprigs of fresh rosemary 
  • Six to eight sprigs of fresh oregano 
  • One tablespoon of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Two teaspoons vinegar
For the garnish (optional)
  • Four eggs
  • Two tablespoons of goats cheese
  • Two teaspoons toasted black sesame seeds
  • Fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

In a baking dish add the pumpkin, tomatoes, olives, onion and garlic. Sprinkle the spices and tear up the fresh herbs, if you don’t have access to fresh herbs you can use dried rosemary and oregano (one tablespoon each approximately). Add a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, season with salt and pepper as desired and toss all the ingredients. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

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Cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Once the veggies and the pasta are cooked, toss the linguine thoroughly and ensure the pasta is coated with the ingredients evenly.

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For the garnish I have used a poached egg, which gives this dish another flavour element and combined with the other ingredients it becomes a lip smackingly delicious sauce. To poach an egg, start by individually cracking the eggs in small bowls. Next bring water to a boil in a deep saucepan. Add vinegar, lower the heat and slide each egg one by one into the water. Depending on your pan a really runny poached egg will take two to three minutes and a medium poached egg will take about five to six minutes.

To assemble the dish plate the linguine. Place the poached egg on top and finally garnish with goats cheese, parsley and toasted black sesame seeds.

Your lip smackingly delicious Roasted Pumpkin and Tomato Linguine is ready to serve. Try this dish for your next pasta night and be sure to impress family and friends.

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Tomato Pea and Basil Frittata

Frittatas are always an eggcellent idea…

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Ahhhhh!!! Eggs!!! I remember my favourite TV commercial as a child was the one about eggs, even to date I remember their ad jingle – Sunday ho ya Monday roz khaao ande (Be it Sunday or Monday, eat eggs everyday). Eggs are so versatile. Boil them, poach them, scramble them, bake them, eat them by themselves or mixed up with other tasty ingredients, they never disappoint!

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While poached and baked eggs are my top two favourite ways of eating eggs, from time to time I do enjoy a good omelet or frittata. In the strictest sense, the difference between an omelet and frittata boils down to a matter of folding in a filling rather than mixing it in. Omelets traditionally have the egg mixture cooked and folded around a filling, while a frittata just mixes it all up, cooked in a mishmash combination all at once. Frittatas are often served at room temperature, making them perfect for brunches or larger groups.

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Today’s frittata recipe is inspired by the Australian spring. Even though we are currently in the middle of winter, this recipe creates an illusion with its aromas whereby I can almost smell and feel the freshness of spring. Tangy tomatoes, sweet peas and aromas of basil are enough to allure even the harshest frittata critic and convert them to a lover.

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Ingredients: 10  Cooking time:25 mins

Serves: 4

  • Six eggs, lightly beaten
  • One medium red onion, finely sliced
  • Half cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Half cup of peas
  • Eight to ten basil leaves
  • Two tablespoons of goats cheese or feta (optional)
  • One red chilli, sliced
  • One green chilli, sliced
  • Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to season

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Lightly beat the eggs and season them with a pinch of salt and keep aside.

Heat three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Add sliced onions and chillies, cook until onion is translucent.Roughly tear up the basil leaves and add them to the onion mixture, this will ensure that beautiful basil aroma permeates through the dish.

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Now add the peas and tomatoes and cook for seven to ten minutes on medium heat. 

Take the pan off the heat and pour in the egg mixture. Crumble goats cheese on top. Place the pan back on low heat for five to seven minutes until the eggs have set.

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Finally place the pan in the hot oven for ten to fifteen minutes or until the frittata is golden and risen.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and sliced tomatoes.

You can serve the frittata with a fresh salad or charred toast. Enjoy this lip smackingly delicious meal on days where you want to eat something tasty but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

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