Without fail, towards the end of each winter, I go full nostalgic for the season we’re still in, not wanting the warm and comforting meals (or lifestyle) to end. A need to savour the winter - my favourite season, especially for the food. I haven’t shared a pasta bake recipe with you guys since last years eggplant and tomato pasta bake, an absolute classic that I love dearly. Enter: pumpkin. Rich, roasted pumpkin folded through ricotta, basil, onion, garlic, Parmesan, then pasta, drowned in more cheese and fried panko breadcrumbs then baked… It’s beautiful and luxe and look, it’s not not pumpkin mac and cheese.
This makes enough to serve 6, and if need be can be assembled ahead of time, then sprinkled with the breadcrumbs and baked just before dinner (if you do this, you may need to add on 10-20 minutes cooking time to accommodate for it being fridge temp. Make sure you taste and season well, especially during that final step once the pumpkin mix comes together with the pasta - it’s easy to under-season because there’s a lot of pasta and sauce, so you do need a fair bitta salt. If you make it too salty, that’s me 90% of the time, and you can give me too salty than disgustingly bland any day. I love it with a simple salad (hang on, I love anything with a simple salad). It would also do well alongside some charry, grilled broccolini with olive oil and lemon juice, or if you have time for something a bit more complicated, try my roasted Brussel’s sprouts with pancetta.