As the nights draw in there is nothing more comforting than a creamy pasta bake. This recipe makes use of the abundant pumpkin available in season during autumn and combined with the bacon and rosemary makes it a delicious and warming dish.
750 grams of pumpkin, cubed
350 grams of uncooked macaroni pasta
300 ml of thickened cream
4 rashes of bacon, diced
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 cups of good quality chicken stock
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
2 cups of grated cheese
2 teaspoons of finely chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Sautée onion, bacon and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil on the stovetop in a large heavy based pan that can be transferred later to the oven (a French cocotte, casserole dish or similar). Once the onion is translucent, add pumpkin and half of the chicken stock and simmer for about 8 minutes until the pumpkin begins to soften. Add cream, remaining stock, pasta and rosemary and cook for a further 8-10 minutes until the pasta is cooked al dente and the pumpkin is cooked through. Stir through 1.5 cups of the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside, the creamy sauce should be nice and thick. In a bowl mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, remaining grated cheese and olive oil and mix through. Top the pasta bake evenly with the breadcrumb mix and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the top is golden. Remove from oven and serve. Enjoy!
ELE top tip – if you do not have a pan that can be transferred from the stove to the oven you can make this in a normal large pan and transfer it to a oven proof dish before adding the breadcrumb mix and baking.