This pasta is sort of like a healthy pumpkiny version of mac n cheese. The pumpkin pasta sauce has that silky quality and coats every mouthful with savoury sweet goodness. But there’s a secret ingredient in here that makes this so good.
That secret ingredient is the parmesan brodo. It’s sort of a stock alternative and s just a broth made from parmesan and some other aromatics. It only takes an hour to make and you don’t need it to the very last moment of this recipe so it doesn’t really add a whole lot of cooking time. it’s also pretty cheap to make as you use the rind of the parmesan which you probably usually throw away.
I usually use a mix of pumpkin in this sauce but you can use your favourite kind, I sometimes find all butternut a little sweet for my tastes though. But be your own person and use what you like.
For a speedy version of this dish cut the pumpkin into smaller chunks, remove the skin and steam it for 15 minutes or until tender, and use chicken or vegetable stock instead of the parmesan brodo.
You could turn this into a pasta bake by sprinkling some breadcrumbs and cheese over the top and baking for 15 minutes or so.
1/2 cup of parmesan rind (can add more if you’ve got it or less, it’s pretty forgiving)
1 Tbs black pepper corns
1 clove of garlic, smashed
6-10 spring onion ends – the white part (roots trimmed)
1 bay leaf
500g pumpkin cut into 6cm chunks, skin on
1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, skin on
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbs cream or ricotta (optional, makes it creamier)
500g pasta of choice (I used casarece)
1/3 cup sage leaves
2 tsp olive oil
Parmesan and black pepper to serve
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Place all the ingredients for your parmesan brodo in a small pot and cover with 4 cups of room temp water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, cook for 1 hour. Turn of the heat and leave it until ready to use.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and place pumpkin in a single layer, season with salt, drizzle in oil and throw in the garlic cloves. Roast in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until tender and just starting to colour. Turn the oven off and leave to sort of steam a bit for 10 minutes.
Put remaining olive oil and sage leaves in a small pan and cook over medium heat until the leaves have crisped up. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
Remove skin and any seeds from the pumpkin and place in a food processor, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skin and add them along with the parmesan cheese. Process until smooth. Strain the brodo, you should have approximately 1 cup of liquid. Add half of this to your pumpkin mix and blend. Add the other 1/2 cup slowly if the sauce is still super thick. You don’t want a puree but a sauce of similar thickness to a bechamel. Taste. Season with salt and pepper.
Place cooked pasta in a large bowl and add 4 ladlefuls of the sauce first, then add more until you are happy with your ratio of sauce to pasta. Sprinkle with crispy sage, black pepper and parmesan and enjoy. If you have left over sauce it freezes well!