November 02, 2010

Black Bean Spaghetti with Roasted Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Spinach and Feta

You may have noticed that I have a thing for trying new ingredients in my cooking and for trying old ingredients in a new way. Sometimes they can be a bit 'alternative' (as you may recall the case of Chocolate Tagliatelle or the Whipped Berry Rye Porridge), and sometimes not so out of the ordinary - just ingredients I haven't experimented before. I also have a thing for re-making old favourites with a healthier twist. This pasta dish is one of those experiments!

I am all for trying different alternatives to ordinary pasta (as I'm not a big fan of it), and there are definitely many options available! To name a few, there's brown rice pasta, gluten-free pasta, quinoa pasta... and black bean pasta! Have you ever tried black bean pasta? I was quite excited to find organic black bean spaghetti in my local super market and couldn't wait to try it out. Turns out it is filled with protein (as you would expect) and it is also really tasty! This will no doubt be my new favourite as a pasta-alternative!

I am so excited about this recipe and it is not hard to guess why. It has so many ingredients I really love: roasted pumpkin, lemon, pine nuts and of course feta cheese which I seem to have a "I will never get tired of eating feta"-relationship with. So next time you go shopping for pasta, have a go at the black bean spaghetti, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Black Bean Spaghetti with Roasted Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Spinach and Feta

300-400g pumpkin, cut into small chunks
1 punnet (200g) cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
dried rosemary

200g black bean spaghetti
pinch of sea salt
1 tbs olive oil

2 big handfuls baby spinach, washed
150g reduced fat feta cheese
a few tablespoons pine nut kernels, toasted

1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
100ml extra virgin olive oil
black pepper, extra

Preheat oven to 180C. Place the pumpkin, tomatoes and garlic on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and rosemary. Toss to coat. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is just cooked through (you can take the tomatoes out earlier if they look like they're getting too soft). Leave to cool slightly.

Cook the black bean spaghetti according to the packet instructions (6-8 minutes in a boiling water with pinch of sea salt and olive oil). Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the spinach and toss well. Add the pumpkin and the tomatoes and fold to combine.

To make the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, half of the lemon juice and the lemon zest in a bowl and whisk to combine. Season with black pepper. Drizzle the salad dressing on the dish and fold to combine.
Crumble the feta cheese on top, sprinkle with the pine nuts and serve warm.