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Spaghetti, pumpkin, avocado and basil pasta.

Pumpkins are not made equal when it comes to cooking.  Just because one type makes a great Halloween lantern doesn’t mean it tastes the best.  The smaller varieties are favoured for cooking.  They have a denser flesh with a smooth texture and a higher sugar content

Pumpkin fruit is one of the widely grown vegetables incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins.  Low in calories and high in vitamin A, C, B and E it is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

If you are struggling with the January Blues but still need to whip up a healthy meal to fuel a crowd, then why not try this simple spaghetti full of mood boosting nutrients.

Avocado and tomatoes are also rich in nutrients necessary for serotonin to develop and reach optimum levels in the brain.

Serves 4

Time 20-30 minutes

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 pumpkin (mini tiger, kikuza or other small variety pumpkin)

1 avocado, pip and skin removed, cut into cubes

20 cherry tomatoes

500g spaghetti

Parmesan for serving

1/2 cup of basil leaves

1 red chilli finely chopped

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roast pumpkin and cherry tomatoes for 10-15 minutes.

Preparation Method

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Cut pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and place in a baking dish.  Scatter cherry tomatoes around the pumpkin, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 10-15 minutes.

Bring a saucepan full of water to the boil and throw spaghetti in to cook for 10-12  minutes until al dente.

Remove roasted pumpkin and tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool for 2-3 minutes.

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Serve with fresh basil.

Once the spaghetti is cooked drain and place in a large mixing bowl.  Mix through the pumpkin, tomato, avocado, basil and chilli.

Serve with parmesan.

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Grate parmesan cheese to serve.