Autumn has arrived. As the dark evenings roll in and the weather takes a drastic change for the worst, I just can’t help but love this season. Of course I love it when its hot and sunny outside, but for me the idea of spending my days off snuggled on the sofa in a onesie eating a large bowl of pasta and watching films is just as exciting. Call me boring, I don’t care. I LOVE autumn.
As well as autumn being a perfect excuse to be lazy and catch up on films and TV I may have missed through the summer months, I love it even more for another reason…. yep you guessed it, the food. In the months to come it’s all about the roasted veg, the hearty soups, the spicy casseroles, the crispy pies, the steamed puddings, the food I love the most. Proper comfort food! You just can’t beat it. Coming home from a long days work to a bowl of steaming hot chilli or a homemade cottage pie is, in my opinion, the best end to any autumn day.
To kick off my favourite foodie season I thought I’d begin with one of my favourite pasta dishes, Roasted Pumpkin Pasta. I say pumpkin but butternut squash works just as well. In fact any kind of squash works as long as it’s roasted to perfection, that’s the key to getting this dish tasting amazing! With pumpkin and squash being everyones favourite ingredients at the moment I thought this would be a great recipe to celebrate the beginning of this wonderful season. To all the other autumn lovers out there, this one’s for you x
30g unsalted butter
350g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
3 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 dried chilli, finely chopped
2 teaspoons of paprika
200ml white wine
200ml double cream
2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
500g fresh fusilli pasta
75g of grated parmesan
Salt and fresh black pepper
- Firstly, preheat oven to gas mark 4/180C or 160C for fan assisted ovens. Throw the pumpkin or squash into a large baking tray and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on top. Season with salt and toss together making sure everything is well coated. Add in the rosemary and roast in the oven for around 25 to 30 minutes or until soft and golden in colour.
- Meanwhile, gently fry the diced shallots and garlic in butter in a large saucepan. Cook until soft and then add in the chopped chilli for a further minute. Add in the paprika, mix well and allow to cook for another minute or two. At this point it would be a good idea to begin heating a large pan of salted water ready for the fresh pasta.
- Next, pour in the white wine and bring to a boil allowing the liquid to reduce by about a third. Turn the heat down and pour in the double cream and allow to simmer.
- Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions – dried pasta will take at least double the time. Pour a little of the cooking water into the creamy sauce to loosen it if needed.
- Just before the pasta is ready, spoon the pumpkin or squash into the sauce with a slotted spoon along with the rosemary and mix well. Drain the pasta and toss through the sauce. Add in the parmesan and season well with salt and fresh black pepper. Serve in a bowl with a chunk of fresh bread on the side for that perfect autumnal meal.