Amazing Autumn Spaghetti with pumpkin, smoked tofu, olives and almonds
Isn’t it odd that the best dishes often come together with some simple leftovers from the fridge? As was the case with this amazing spaghetti dish with an ‘autumn’ themed sauce, based on tomatoes, pumpkin, smoked tofu, olives and almonds. It came into the world on a rainy autumn night.
Around dinner time, a friend and I came home soaking wet and shivering. Appetite and fatigue had overcome us and we knew that first and foremost, we needed a simple, nutritious meal that would warm us up again and strenghten us.
Despite the rain and cold-induced suffering, to our utmost surprise, we found that we still had some space and energy for creativity. As a result, we were inspired to create our own vegan ‘haute cuisine’ with just some random ingredients from my fridge. I call it spaghetti in ‘autumn’ style: a pasta dish with sweet & spicy roasted pumpin, a tomato-based sauce with smoked tofu and olives, topped off with some roasted almonds.
Because the pumpkin needs some time in the oven, this isn’t the fastest dish, instead, it leaves some time for chit chat in a warm kitchen. While the pumpkin was roasting, we simply enjoyed the warmth of the oven and the blissful smell of pumpkin and sage. We were also happy that the dish only required half a box of olives, so we wouldn’t ruin our dish by making the other half disappear into our hungy bellies!
Thoroughly warm and deeply satisfied, we finished the meal with a cup of tea. This dish might become a true autumn ‘classic’, if I may say so myself. We enjoyed it wholeheartedly! :)
Ingredients (for 2-3 persons) – cooking time 30-40 mins:
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- about 80 g fresh green olives, sliced
- about 500 g plain tomato sauce
- 200 g smoked tofu (in Holland, the brand ‘Taifun’ makes a very delicious smoked tofu with almonds and sesame seeds)
- ½ TBSP stock powder
- 1 TBSP apple vinegar
- 150 g whole grain spaghetti
- 1 small pumpkin (about 750 g)
- 1 TBSP dried sage
- 1 TBSP oregano
- 1 TBSP thyme
- a hand full of white almonds
- some olive oil and some coconut oil
- baking paper
Pre-heat the oven (220*C). Rinse and cut the pumpkin into 2×2 cm pieces. An organic pumpkin does not need to be peeled – which saves time and energy – you might consider only cutting off any dry pieces of the skin that aren’t orange anymore.
Transfer the pumpkin to a deep plate or a bowl and pour a rather large quantity of olive oil over it, as well as the sage, oregano and thyme. Mix everything with a big spoon and spread over a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake in the oven for about 20-30 mins, or until golden.
In the mean time, peel and cut the onion and garlic. Put some coconut oil in a deep frying pan and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Cut the smoked tofu into small pieces and add to the pan. Fry a few more minutes, then add the tomato sauce, the vinegar and the stock powder, and lastly, the sliced olives. Stir everything well and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavours to blend in.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the whole grain spaghetti. Drain and rinse with some hot water. Put it back in the pan with a little bit of olive oil to prevent the spaghetti from sticking.
Slice the white almonds into thin slices and roast them for a few minutes in a clean frying pan without any oil until they become golden.
When the pumpkin is ready, carefully stir it in with the tomato sauce. Serve the spaghetti with the colourful sauce and sprinkle the roasted almonds on top.
Buon appetito & enjoy autumn!