This Cheesy Pumpkin and Pasta Bake by our ambassador Paul West is ideal for a lazy Sunday dinner or a mid-week meal. The pumpkin adds a rich earthiness and a hint of sweetness and the crusty, golden top adds the perfect crunch. He says it’s like “pizza and pasta had a love child” and we couldn’t agree more! For a taste of the Eurobodalla on your table, look for Tilba Real Dairy Cream or Bodalla Dairy cheeses in your local supermarket.
This recipe is from Paul’s new book, ‘Homegrown – A year of growing, cooking and eating’ available at the Narooma Oyster Festival on May 6 & 7, the Narooma Rocks Oyster Bar at Tilba Festival, bookshops or you can grab a signed copy here.
15 kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2cm thick slices.
Salt & pepper
500g dried rigatoni
250ml (1 cup) thickened cream
50g spinach leaves
150g (1 cup) grated, firm mozzarella
small bunch of sage leaves
Paul’s Garden Whip-around Salad or green leaves of your choice, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Arrange the pumpkin in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking tray (you may need two). nDrizzle a little more olive oil over the top and season with salt and pepper. Roast the pumpkin for 20 minutes or until soft and just starting to brown.Remove from the oven and set aside to cool a little.
While the pumpkin is cooking, place a large saucepan of salted water over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Tip the pasta into the pan and cook for about 8 minutes – the pasta should be soft enough to bite but not fully cooked.Drain into a colander and pour over a little olive oil to prevent the pasta sticking.
Place the cooked pumpkin, stock, cream and spinach in a mixing bowl and use a spoon to mix the ingredients, breaking up the pumpkin a little (it doesn’t need to be smooth). Stir in the pasta until it’s all saucy, then transfer the mixture to a large baking dish.Scatter over the mozzarella and sage, pop the dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the top is golden.
Allow the pasta bake to cool slightly, season with some more salt and pepper and then serve with Paul’s Garden Whip-around Salad or green leaves of your choice.