This warming pasta dish from New Kitchen Basics by Claire Thomson is quick and easy to whip up.
"Make this in autumn or winter when pumpkins and squash are in curvy, weighty abundance. Ricotta works well warmed and baked brie y on top of the cooked pumpkin and garlic to then mix through with the pasta. As for the brown sage butter, this stuff is a restaurant hack that makes almost everything taste more delicious – you have been warned. Use a short, shapely tube pasta here; rigatoni or penne would be my preference."- Claire Thomson
- 400g (14oz) squash or pumpkin flesh, cut into 2cm (3⁄4in) cubes
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- About 20 sage leaves
- Olive oil
- 50g (13⁄4oz) unsalted butter
- 350g (12oz) pasta
- 250g (9oz) ricotta
- Generous handful of grated (shredded) Parmesan, to serve
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/375°F/Gas 5.
- Place the squash or pumpkin cubes, garlic and half the sage leaves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, then season with salt and black pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 15–20 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender.
- While the pumpkin is cooking, put the remaining sage and the butter in a small pan over a moderate heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the butter begins to foam and caramelise. Light brown sediments will fall away to the bottom of the pan and the sage leaves should be crisp but not brown. Remove from the heat.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions until firmly al dente. Drain, reserving about 1⁄2 cup of pasta cooking water.
- On the baking sheet, mash the cooked garlic and stir through the cooked pumpkin. Add the ricotta in blobs over the top and return the sheet to the oven, uncovered, for about 5–10 minutes, until the ricotta firms up and takes on a bit of colour.
- Combine the pasta with the pumpkin and ricotta mixture, adding a little of the cooking liquid to moisten if necessary. Serve spooned with the sage butter and a generous helping of Parmesan.
Recipe extracted from New Kitchen Basics by Claire Thomson (Quadrille, £25/€35) Photography: Sam Folan.
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