Sunday, 21 April 2013

Pretty farfalle pasta with some of our favourite ingredients

If Sylvia had her way she would eat tofu bacon all the time.  If E had his way every meal would have chillies in it.  If I had my way I would eat pumpkin every day, preferably roasted.  Without chillies.  You see, I am not a big fan of chillies.  However I like to have them fresh every now and again.  So when Shaheen of Allotment to Kitchen announced that chillies was the theme of Pasta Please this month, I made a pasta with tofu bacon, pumpkin and chillies.  Something for everyone!

Given that I am not the biggest fan of chillies so when I have them I don't want them so hot that steam is coming out my ears.  I have had too many bad experiences in the past.  The chillies in this pasta dish seemed spicy enough when I tested them.  In the pasta they didn't make much of an impact until my last mouthful.  Suddenly I was hit by a mouthful of pleasing heat.  Sylvia does not like spicy food.  But she tells us chillies are good for winter because they warms you up. 

As an aside, recently I have realised that I have a lower tolerance for chillies than I used to because I cook for myself so much these days.  When I lived in student houses with others who loved chillies I would be challenged to eat it more.  Blogging has been great in encouraging me to try other foods but less so in convincing me to eat more chillies.  So I am grateful to Shaheen for the gentle nudge.

The pasta was also inspired by having some special colourful stripey farfalle that I have bought before.  It kept its colour better this time than last time.  No doubt, I must have cooked it too long last time.  (A friend also suggested that more colour leeches out if the water is not hot enough.)  Sylvia ate her pasta plain and loved choosing the colours of each piece.  For us, this pasta requiree a very simple olive oil based sauce with few other ingredients to hide it.

It is not the quickest of recipes.  Yet if you have a little time and some tofu bacon in the fridge, it is fairly straight forward.  Most of the time is in the cooking rather than the preparation.  I have written what I have done with what I had but this is the sort of recipe that can be quite flexible depending on your available ingredients.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: WSC Chocolate Nut Roast with Chocolate Gravy
Two years ago:  GF Tim Tams, Hot Cross Buns and Haggis Pizza
Three years ago: Honest soup inspired by a Farmers Market
Four years ago: Easter Nut Roast and Feasting
Five years ago: Family Favourite: Chocolate Pudding

Farfalle with pumpkin, facon and chilli
An original recipe from Green Gourmet Giraffe
serves 2

500g pumpkin, peeled, trimmed and diced
3-5 tbsp olive oil, divided
good pinch of French lavender salt (or sea salt)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200g farfalle (butterfly or bowtie pasta)
1/4 batch of tofu bacon (aka 'facon')
juice of 1/4 to 1/2 lemon
60g goats cheese, crumbled
basil leaves to garnish
1/2 red chilli, finely sliced (or more if you like spicy food)

Toss the pumpkin with about 1 tbsp olive oil salt, and garlic until they are soft inside and starting to brown on the outside.  (I cooked mine for about 45 minutes at 230 C.  I added my garlic after 30 minutes but as other ovens may be quicker, I was reluctant to advise about when to add it.)  Set aside. Fry tofu bacon in some olive oil until crispy and set aside.

Cook the farfalle in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes or as directed on your packet.  (Mine said 8-10 minutes which didn't seem very precise for pasta.)

Drain pasta and toss through the pumpkin, tofu bacon, olive oil and lemon juice.  Check the olive oil and lemon juice for taste.  The garnishes will add saltiness and flavour but you still want to check the olive oil and lemon juice shine through just enough and have the right balance.  To serve, top with goats cheese, basil and chilli.

On the Stereo:
The Sounds of the Smiths


  1. Love the combination of favourites all in one dish, Johanna. :) Because of Rob, my chili/spice tolerance has increased and I wonder whether his has decreased! I feel like it is much better to actually taste the food and not be overwhelmed by the spice... Btw, that pasta is darling. Rob's mom has some but I think she is just using it for decoration right now. :)

    1. Thanks Janet - I can imagine using this pasta for decoration - it is so pretty, it is hard to use. Maybe E's tolerance to chilli has decreased due to my cooking too?

  2. Isn't it funny how tastes change over the years! I guess you can "lose" the taste for chilli-I guess I never stop eating it to know that first hand :)

    1. Thanks Lorraine - I am sure my tastes in many foods have changed back and forwards over the years - I don't think we think of our tastebuds in constant state of flux - but blogging gives us a change to look over long term at how what we eat changes so I can see that chilli tolerance changes - but so gradual it is hard to spot

  3. I am in love with that pasta! Usually pasta dishes don't get me very excited, but this one is an exception due to the pasta alone - and the sauce sounds great to me too. I like chilli, pumpkin and tofu bacon so I'd have been very well catered for!

    1. Thanks Kari - I am fussy about pasta dishes - too many are overwhelmed by the pasta or just seem a bit dull to me but I love a good mix of flavours and textures

  4. I'm not the biggest pumpkin fan but would eat chilli and tofu bacon any day of the week. The farfalle is gorgeous, I love the striped colours in it. It looks like a great meal to please everyone at home!

    1. Thanks Mel - you would get along with Sylvia who has taken an unexpected dislike to pumpkin - I am sure I liked it when I was little - but the pumpkin isn't dominant in the pasta and you could easily use something like sweet potato or beetroot instead

  5. This dish is gorgeous and I love how it has some of all your favorite ingredients in it!

    1. Thanks Joanne - the favourite ingredients seemed like a coincidence but I guess I cook to please all of us so maybe not such a coincidence

  6. What a gorgeous dish, and it does indeed have something for everyone.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - we are a diverse set of tastebuds in my family :-)


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