When it comes to pasta, I must admit; I’m not very adventurous.
I like the classics with a stubborn loyalty. Whenever I try a new pasta dish, I become more and more sure that the classics became that way for good reason; nothing tops them. Bolognese, Arrabiata, mushrooms & cream, spinach & ricotta, Puttanesca, Gorgonzola cream…they always win, and I rarely ever tend to stray away from them whether I am ordering at a restaurant or cooking at home.
I have, however, on rare occasions attempted to try something new. Be it for the sake of seasonality, after being inspired by tv, social media or a magazine, or in this case, thinking of new ways to incorporate a certain ingredient into my cooking.
For this month’s recipe collaboration with Harris Farm Markets, I was tasked with coming up with an easy, delicious and non-boring dish featuring pumpkin that can work well as a simple weeknight meal. The usual suspects all felt too obvious and over-done to me (pumpkin soup, roast pumpkin, pumpkin salad…), and so I decided to combine a few flavours that I know work really well together in a pasta dish.
Here, pumpkin is roasted till caramelised and sweet, then cooked tube pasta of choice gets tossed with the golden luminescent cubes, along with a gorgeously nutty browned butter and sage sauce, some toasted hazelnuts and blobs of creamy fresh ricotta, followed by a final shower of parmesan. All flavours that I absolutely adore, and have come together so beautifully in this pasta dish that it may have convinced me to be a bit more brave with trying new pasta creations from here on out.
I was so pleased with the results, that we actually made it again the very following day! It packs quite the nutritional punch, and is perfect cosy and quick comfort food for these chilly winter evenings.
Have a look at the video, and do let me know what you think if you decide to give this recipe a try!
*This recipe is in collaboration with Harris Farm Markets.
- 600g Jap (Kent) pumpkin, peeled & cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- flaky sea salt
- 250g short tube pasta (penne, rigatoni & tortiglioni all work well here!)
- 50g butter
- 1 small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked
- 150g fresh ricotta cheese
- 50g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- grated parmesan cheese, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Toss the pumpkin cubes with the olive oil and a good sprinkling of sea salt, then spread out in a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper & roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until the edges are browned & pumpkin is tender.
- As the pumpkin cooks, cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water according to packet instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat & add the butter & sage leaves, along with a good pinch of sea salt. Cook, stirring, until the butter is slightly browned & has a nutty aroma & the sage leaves darken & become crispy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat, then add the cooked pumpkin and crumble the ricotta on top. Toss very gently to distribute everything evenly & heat it through, then sprinkle with the hazelnuts & parmesan cheese & serve immediately.
Butternut pumpkin could also be used in place of Jap/Kent.