Vegan Winter Vegetable Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Vegan Winter Vegetable Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

It’s over a month until the official first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere but the freezing cold wind in London lately suggests otherwise.

Cold, rainy weather makes me crave warm, hearty comfort food and my number one comfort food is pasta. Throw in some lovely winter veg and warm spices and I’m blissed out.

Today’s recipe is inspired by a pasta lunch date in Munich last month. As I said, I LOVE pasta and Vapiano is my favourite place to eat it. Mainly because you order at the bar and watch the chef prepare your dish in front of you. Fresher than fresh.
Last month Vapiano Germany offered a special vegan autumn menu, naturally I was pumped!
I went for Zucca: spaghetti, hokkaido pumpkin cubes, pak choi, fresh ginger and pumpkin seed pesto, all thrown into a wok and fried in garlic oil.

Inspired by the pumpkin pasta, I created my slightly more wintery version with kale (my absolute favourite in the colder months!) and chestnut mushrooms.
Vegan Winter Vegetable Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Pesto Vegan Winter Vegetable Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Vegan Winter Vegetable Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 250g spaghetti
  • ½ medium sized hokkaido pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2 hands full of kale, roughly chopped
  • 2 hands full of small chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 large heirloom tomato
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2cm fresh ginger root, grated
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • pepper and salt to taste
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Roughly cut the pumpkin or squash into pieces. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, add the pumpkin chunks, drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil on top and toss until evenly coated. Bake the pumpkin chunks until soft and slightly golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile bring water to a boil, add salt and cook the spaghetti (or pasta of choice) until al dente.
  4. Add the pumpkin seeds and 1 peeled garlic clove to a blender or food processor and blitz until you have a fine, crumbly texture.
  5. Roughly chop the Kale, then chop the tomato, finely chop the remaining 2 garlic cloves and grate the ginger.
  6. Peel the pumpkin chunks and chop them into smaller, bite-sized cubes.
  7. In a big pan heat up 3 Tbsp of olive oil, then add the pumpkin, kale, mushrooms and tomato and fry for a few minutes.
  8. Then add the ground pumpkin seeds, the chopped garlic and grated ginger. Mix and fry some more.
  9. Lastly, add the lemon juice, ground turmeric, pepper and salt (to taste!) and fry for another minute.
  10. Drain the pasta, add it to the pan and toss. Enjoy!

Vegan Winter Vegetable Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Pesto


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