Pumpkin Pasta Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas) with Miso Brown Butter
pumpkin pasta ceci
It's no surprise my social media feed has been flooded with pumpkin recipes over the past few weeks. What I have found surprising however, is how my feeds are also full of recipes for pasta ceci (note ceci is chickpea in Italian). Pasta ceci is a comforting, economical, and traditional Italian pasta dish. The pasta is cooked right into the brothy chickpeas creating a rich and thick pasta dish. It'll warm you from the inside out.
I loved this idea of combining the two, and since I refuse to ever peel and chop any form of squash, I knew there was only one way to do this. Though I'm adding the step of roasting the pumpkin, this recipe is still super simple because that can be done while your oven is on for another purpose. I roasted my pumpkin while cooking veggies for one dinner, then assembled this pasta dish the next night - no oven required. I love maximizing my oven space in this way to save energy and time. Otherwise, this comes together with just some pantry staples and herbs (which truly you could omit and still be fine).
So are you ready to get cozy? Grab a sweater and a spoon.
Here's how it went down:
1 pie pumpkin, halved, seeds scooped (save for roasting and snacking later!)
a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp miso brown butter (recipe follows) OR 1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp miso OR olive oil to keep vegan
pastina / small pasta - I used about 300g.
parm to finish
Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat (my new fave).
Drizzle each pumpkin half with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fill the cavities with rosemary and thyme sprigs. Roast cut side down for about 30 minutes. You should be able to easily collapse and pierce the pumpkin with a fork.
Allow the pumpkin to cool enough to handle before you scoop all the flesh from the skin.
Heat a few tbsp olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and infuse for a few minutes, until fragrant.
Add the roasted pumpkin, chickpeas, and tomato paste. Add about 2 cups water or stock, salt and pepper (you will need more if you use water).
Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chickpeas are very sauce and can be smashed easily.
Boil the pasta according to instructions on the bag. I typically remove 1 minute from whatever the bag says and will try it at that point. This helps ensure it's not overcooked. Always try your pasta- don't blindly trust what the bag says.
Add pasta and some pasta water to the sauce. Note you can add more liquid and enjoy this soupy, or add less liquid and keep it rather stewy.
Stir in the butter/miso/oil (whatever you're using).
Serve topped with parm (optional).
adding pasta to the pot, ready to finish
Miso Brown Butter:
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp miso paste
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Keep going, swirling and watching the pan. You will start to notice the butter foam, and then little brown flecks will appear. These are milk solids cooking out and then toasting and becoming 'brown' and nutty in flavour. It's delicious. Remove from heat and whisk in miso paste.
I have so far added this to pasta and brushed onto veggies before roasting, it's a winner.