…with Pumpkin Sage Sauce
It can’t be true yet – but today felt like spring! The first tulip is shyly reaching out on my terrace, the almond trees are blossoming, the sky infinitely blue and the sun warming. It was the first day of the year I went running in a sleeveless top and the air wasn’t cold, but a warm wind was blowing my hair around. I know, spring does this to us every year, it starts fooling us when it’s still undeniably winter. We might start to believe the warm days have begun, we start to put winter coats away in exchange for a lighter wardrobe and may plant our terrace (or garden or balcony), just to realize we have been tricked and winter is not yet over.
Around the fifth time spring is showing up, with new and sounder evidence this time, with longer sunny intervals, an increasing amount of flowers and light green leaves, I start to believe the cold days are finally over and spring is actually here… usually to be surprised by a sudden heat and the feeling spring has never really been there. Anyway, spring or still winter, feeling the warm air and sun today made me feel a whole-body-happiness as if I had been hibernating without noticing it, suddenly wanting to go out and meet people, sitting on a terrace and enjoying the sun.
Today’s recipe is Zucchini noodles which can be eaten raw in summer, eventually with a more salad-like dressing, but which I better like warm in winter with any of your favorite pasta sauces. The pumpkin sage sauce with green peas can actually also be eaten as a creamy and warming soup (we did this with the leftovers on the next day).
• 2 Zucchini
• 2 cups of roasted (or cooked pumpkin)
• 1/2 cup cashews soaked over night
• 1 1/2 cups of water
• 2 sprigs of sage, leaves picked
• 1 onion
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1/2 cup of peas (fresh or frozen, optional)
• 1 cup vegetable broth
• 1/2 cup white wine (or juice of 1/2 lemon + water)
• 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
• salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Cut the pumpkin into big pieces and roast on the middle rack for 30-40 minutes or until the flesh is soft. Take it out and let it cool until you can touch it without burning your fingers. The skin should come off easily now.
Rinse the soaked cashews and put them into the blender together with the water. Blend during a couple of minutes, then add two cups of the roasted pumpkin flesh and blend again until homogeneous.
While the pumpkin is cooling, cut the onions in slices. Put one tbsp olive oil and around ten leaves of sage into the pot you will make the sauce in. Fry the sage until slightly crisp, then add half of the onion slices and the finely chopped garlic and cook at low heat until the onions are transparent.
Add the pumpkin-cashew cream to the pot with the onions. Also add the white wine or water with lemon, as well as the vegetable broth and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat down and let simmer until the rest of the ingredients is ready.
Now put one tbsp of olive oil into a small pot or pan to caramelize the rest of the onion on medium heat, stirring only every once in a while to let them get slightly browned. Meanwhile use a spiralizer to make zucchini “spaghetti” or a vegetable peeler to make zucchini “fettuccine”. You can fry the rest of the sage leaves with the remaining olive oil in a separate pan or (if, as in my case, your favorite dish washer hasn’t returned home yet) use the onion pan once the onions are caramelized.
Now you can toss your “noodles” in the sauce (reserve some if you plan to have a part as soup later) and serve them with some caramelized onions, peas and crispy sage leaves on top. (For the photo I put the sauce on top.)