The first instalment of what I’m going to call a series called “Lazy Nights”.. which basically involves me being incredibly tired after working in a kitchen all day long, and possibly feeling uninspired to cook some evenings – but, nonetheless, one of my favourite ways to ‘wind down’ in the evening is to prepare my partner his dinner and his lunch for the next day. If I’m feeling rather tired or uninspired, the food is usually a mishmash of whatever is in the fridge. However, I always try to make it innovative and delicious! So, I thought I’d share these ‘real-time’ recipes – they may not be fancy, but they are easy and delicious. Most recipes in these series will yield 2-3 serves (My partner eats big, but one of these recipes will feed him for both his dinner and lunch the next day!)
Anyway, this lil’ pasta number is creamy, slightly cheesy and can full of my fave – PUMPKIN! Feel free to add more spices if you wish, however I preferred the simplicity and warm flavours of pumpkin & caramelised onion on their own.
If you make it or enjoy it in anyway, do let me know! And if you think this is somewhat of a good idea, let me know too and I’ll keep the Lazy Nights coming.
LAZY NIGHTS: CREAMY PUMPKIN & LENTIL PASTA
250-300g Pasta Of Choice
1x 400g can of brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1-2 cups kale, destemmed and finely chopped
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1x brown onion, finely diced
1 tbsp oil for frying
1 tbsp maple syrup or coconut nectar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp light miso paste
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (or more if you’d like it cheesier)
1/2 cup plant based milk (oat, almond, soy or coconut)
salt/pepper to taste
Salt & Pepper
Sweet Chilli Sauce (Your favourite brand OR make your own ‘quick’ sauce by whisking together 2 tbsp salt free tomato paste, 3 tbsp maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice, 1-2 tsp chilli paste or hot sauce and 1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon and thin with water if needed)
- Cook the pasta by following the package directions. Rinse and drain under cool water and set aside with the lentils in a large pot.
- In a small frying pan, fry the onion in oil until fragrant and browned. Add the maple syrup to the pan and fry for a further minute or two until caramelised.
- In a high speed blender, blend the onion, pumpkin, spices, miso paste, sesame oil, nutritional yeast and plant based milk until thick and creamy. Season to taste.
- Pour the sauce into a large pot with the pasta, lentils and kale. Heat over a medium-high heat until heated thoroughly and the kale has wilted. Serve immediately with sesame seeds, salt/pepper to taste and a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce.
Optional: You could add some grated vegan cheese at step 4 whilst heating everything in the pot!