Pepita Fettuccine with Spinach and Cranberries

I was pleasantly surprised last week when I came home to find a review copy of Vegan Yum Yum: Decadent (But Doable) Animal-Free Recipes For Entertaining and Everyday on my doorstep. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Lauren Ulm’s (or “Lolo’s”) blog, you’re missing out. As most of you know, I’m no longer a vegetarian and I’m far from vegan–but I’ve book-marked numerous recipes that I can’t wait to try. The book is written clearly and intuitively with stunning photography. Lolo took all of the photos from the book herself: have you seen her post on digital food photography? If you’re at all curious about food staging, lighting, lenses and the like, it’s been an invaluable resource for me.

In her book (and on her blog) Vegan Yum Yum, you truly feel like Lolo is sitting at the counter with you, peeling carrots, and hollering out directions. The recipes are all very accessible and casually written. From baking donuts to lightly frying samosas or caramelizing leeks, her encouraging ‘give it a whirl’ voice guides you through each recipe.

So yesterday as I was tying up some odds and ends at my desk (bills, bills, and more bills), I started flipping through her lovely book to see if there was something relatively quick to whip up for lunch. I stumbled across the recipe for Pepita Fettuccine with Spinach and Cranberries. The dish is simple with vibrant colors and interesting textures. Even better? Lolo wrote the recipe for one person and I had all of the ingredients. Sold.

For those of you unfamiliar with pepitas, they’re pumpkin seeds without the white exterior hull. I chose to make the dish with papparedelle instead of fettuccine because I love the heartiness of the thicker noodle and, let’s be honest, I was out of fettuccine. The sauce is delicate and should barely coat the pasta. As Lolo says, “The noodles should look like they don’t have sauce on them, but they’ll taste like they do.” Because the spinach is cooked with a little red pepper, it has a slight kick to it–and the cranberries add a subtle sweetness. Obviously if you’re making this for more than one person, multiply the quantities to best fit the number of people you’re serving.

Pepita Fettuccine with Spinach and Cranberries
From: Vegan Yum Yum

Fettuccine (or papparedelle) for one
1/3 cup raw, unsalted pepitas or pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. oil
2 large handfuls spinach, torn
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 to 3 fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the pasta. While the pasta’s cooking, pulse the pepitas in your food processor or blender until chopped fairly fine, then set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skilled over medium heat and add spinach. Use tongs to coat the spinach in the hot oil. Add the red pepper flakes, tamari, and maple syrup, and then the thyme if you’re using it. Toss in the cranberries and mix everything well. Turn the heat to low (or just turn it off and cover until your pasta’s cooked).

Once the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the skillet. Add the chopped pepitas and toss well until everything is soaked. Taste a noodle and see if you need an extra splash of tamari and/or maple syrup. The noodles should look like they don’t have sauce on them, but they’ll taste like they do. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving


  1. Jamie

    This does sound like a really flavorful and super delicious dish! And I love all the ingredients, healthy, pretty and yummy!

  2. El

    How fun to get a surprise book. That's an incredibly interesting combination of flavors. Sounds great!

  3. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite

    This looks like a great recipe. Love that you can make something vegan or vegetarian so aesthetically pleasing that die-hard carnivores (i.e. my Neil) won't even notice the lack of meat. I will be trying this soon.

    PS: How do you get review copies?

  4. Megan Gordon

    Thanks Jamie--it is a healthy sets all that Halloween candy!

    And Sarah: I looked on Amazon UK and it looks promising:

    Mardi: I recently read Amy's excellent post:

    and contact the PR agency dealing with this book specifically b/c I'm a big fan of the blog. Hope that helps!

  5. Deborah

    Funny enough I have also been a vegetarian once, but is no longer. But I have promised myself to endulge in more vegetarian dishes in the new year, since I actully like them. I've bookmarked the blog for future refrence.

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