This year we picked over 80 pumpkins on our property. I planted six behind our vegetable patch and only one plant survived yet it produced at least 20 pumpkins. While my neighbours vine that crept over the fence produced pumpkins for 3 months and if I didn’t cut it back I am sure we would have had more. Pumpkins are a great vegetable to grow as they store really well through the winter and are so versatile in cooking. You can roast, boil, fry them put them in cakes and pies and even preserve them into pumpkin butter. Not only are they easy to grow they don’t need much attention, just a little bit of water and they will take off and take over the surrounding landscape. We even found a few pumpkins hanging from the trees in our drive way and in our elephant grass down the hill.
The first picking of pumpkins in February
Using only one of the pumpkins I have for this recipe, I am still keen to off load some as storing the buggers does take up space and we only live in small shed. The markets that I have done people are not so keen on buying whole pumpkins. Unfortunately you can not cut up pumpkins and sell them on unless it is done in a commercial kitchen and you have a food licence. Crazy I know, it’s just a pumpkin, right. So many people do it anyways at local markets not just with pumpkins also with watermelons. Most of them don’t have a licence to do it yet they risk it. Call me crazy as I like to play it safe and keep them whole if one day that if I do cut them and I get busted I would feel like I lost my creditably. I don’t want that – I am a professional farmer selling veggies the right way. Got to love Australia.
How often do you see fruit and vegetables cut up your local market? What do you think of the rules about health and safety that surrounds cutting raw vegetables to on-sell?
- 1 kilo jap pumpkin, cut into chunks
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 good sized sprigs of sage
- 500gm spaghetti
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200’c. In a large non-stick baking dish place the pumpkin chunks, olive oil, garlic and the leaves from the sage and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the pumpkin in the oven for 40-45minutes or until golden and almost falling apart.
- Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti for 8minutes. Drain and return to the large pot. Drizzle with olive oil if you are still waiting on the pumpkin to cook, stir it through the pasta to stop it from gluing together.
- Once the pumpkin has cooked add it to the pasta pot and stir through check your seasoning and adjust to your own taste. Break some of the pumpkin pieces up as you stir to coat the pasta like a sauce while leaving some whole.
- Serve immediately. For a decadent addition you can also put a few bits of blue cheese on top of each plate before eating.