A pasta bake’s always a welcome, comforting dish. I made a pumpkin pasta & walnut bake a few weeks ago, threw in some fresh herbs and roasted the vegies beforehand to give them that sweet, caramelised taste. The roast pumpkin slightly breaks down into the pasta and cream, making this dish super creamy and delicious with garlic and onion flavours.
Recipe for roast pumpkin, herb & walnut pasta bake:
500g Kent pumpkin, peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, halved then sliced medium thickness
3-5 cloves garlic, left whole in skins (to taste)
1 scant tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped finely
30mls grapeseed oil
220g bow tie pasta (or any short pasta of your choice)
Sea salt and black pepper
24g walnuts, chopped
3 heaped tblspns chives, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped finely
60g cheddar cheese, grated coarsely
250mls light cooking cream
30g parmesan, grated finely
30mls extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 200C. Place baking paper over a large baking tray.
Place pumpkin, onion and garlic on the tray – I find it easier to set the garlic cloves aside in their own area. Sprinkle over chopped rosemary then drizzle over grapeseed oil and rub into vegetables – season with freshly ground sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until light golden brown and tender. Turn pan around half-way through if needed, to prevent burning. Remove vegetables from the oven and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 180C.
Meanwhile, while vegetables are roasting, cook pasta in boiling, salted water for 11 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, reserve a few tablespoonfuls of pasta water.
Squeeze cooked garlic out of skins. Place near the other roast vegies.
Add pasta to a large, shallow, ceramic baking dish (mine is around 4cm high). Add walnuts, herbs, cheddar cheese and cream then 3-4 tablespoons of pasta water and mix until combined. Gently fold in vegetables until everything is combined – grind over black pepper and sea salt to taste. Scatter over parmesan evenly then drizzle over extra virgin olive oil.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until hot, creamy and bubbling. Scatter over more freshly chopped chives before serving if you like.
Serves: 4 lunch sized servings