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Recipe No. 3

Creamy Pumpkin Rigatoni with Thyme Walnuts and crispy Basil

Pumpkin season has arrived! Make the most of it and wizz up this easy and comforting autumn dish.

Chop up a Hokkaidol squash and roast with a whole garlic head, until beautifully caramelised. Hokkaido's skin is perfectly edible and doesn't need to be removed. Alternatively use a butternut squash, but peel first.

After roasting, blend with mascarpone and sundried tomatoes for a deliciously creamy pasta sauce. Toasted walnuts and crispy basil add wonderful texture and flavour.

Prep Time
30 minutes
Cooking time
50 minutes
Serves
6
First recipe image by Alicja Sieronski
Photo by Alicja Sieronski

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 1 kg pumpkin, preferably Hokkaido
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly picked thyme
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 500 g rigatoni pasta, or other larger shapes
  • 1-2 cups reserved pasta water
  • 50 g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the walnuts

  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

For crispy basil

  • 25-30 g basil leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil

WHAT ELSE YOU’LL NEED

  • Blender
  • Large baking sheet
  • Skimming ladle or tongs
  • Paper kitchen towel
Second recipe image by Alicja Sieronski
Photo by Alicja Sieronski

Instructions

Heat oven to 200 C / 180 fan / 400 F /gas mark 6 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat; set aside.

Wash and half the pumpkin, remove seeds, then cut it into 1 inch cubes. Spread onto the lined baking sheet.

Slice the top of the garlic head and place it cut side up between the pumpkin.

Add the quartered onion and toss in olive oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Place in the preheated oven and roast for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, mix olive oil, maple syrup, Cayenne pepper and thyme in a medium bowl, add walnuts and mix well to coat.

Spread walnuts on a separate lined baking sheet and toast in the oven together with the pumpkin for the remaining 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to cooking instructions. When it is al dente, drain, saving 1-2 cups of pasta water.

Take the walnuts out of the oven and toss in more thyme. Season with salt and let them cool completely.

Now take out the pumpkin and place in a blender. Squeeze the individual garlic cloves out of their husk and add to the blender, together with mascarpone, sun dried tomatoes and 1 cup of pasta water. Use more if needed.

Blend until creamy, using a spatula to push down the sides of the blender. In a small skillet, heat the oil to cover the bottom. Add basil leaves , a couple at the time and fry for up to 5 seconds, before carefully lifting out of the oil and placing on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Mix the pasta and sauce in a large saucepan and heat through. Serve with freshly grated parmesan, herby walnut andcrispy basil on top.

First recipe image by Alicja Sieronski
Photo by Alicja Sieronski
Finished recipe image by Alicja Sieronski
Photo by Alicja Sieronski

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