A delicious slightly sweet, creamy and crunchy autumnal pasta bake.
Course: Main Course
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
320gTrescatori pasta (you can also use ziti, zitoni, candele, penne or mezze maniche)
500gpumpkin or squashcut into cubes
4zucchini (courgettes)cut into small cubes
1small red onionpeeled and finely chopped
4-5 fresh sage leaveschopped
1glassdry white wine
200mlcooking cream or 150ml milk
125gfresh mozzarellacut into small pieces
4-5tbspextra virgin olive oil
saltfor pasta and to taste
black pepperto taste
butterto grease oven dish
Begin by removing the skin and seeds from the pumpkin and cutting it into large cubes. Place the pumpkin cubes on a flat oven dish, sprinkle with olive oil, pepper and chopped sage leaves and roast in a preheated oven at 180° until it starts to soften and brown (20-25 mins).
While the pumpkin is roasting, cut the zucchini into slices and then small cubes and peel and chop the red onion finely. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet. Fry the onion until it starts to soften and then add the zucchini, some salt and pepper.
Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt when it starts to boil and bring to the boil again.
When the pumpkin is ready add half to the zucchini and onion with the white wine and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat.
Cook the pasta less than al dente according to the instructions on the packet.
In the meantime, cream the remaining pumpkin with the cooking cream or milk in a blender or food processor until you get a homogeneous sauce.
When the pasta is ready, save a cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the creamed pumpkin to the pasta and mix together well. If the sauce seems dry, add some of the saved pasta cooking water.
Butter an oven dish. Cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of pasta with pumpkin cream. Add a layer of the vegetables with some pieces of mozzarella and a sprinkling of parmesan. Add another layer of pasta, then vegetables, mozzarella and parmesan. Finish with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180° until the top because golden and crispy. Allow the dish to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
You can also use other pasta tubes such as ziti, zitoni, candele, penne or mezze maniche. If possible use grooved or ridged (rigate) pasta. The sauce adheres better to this type of pasta.