Pumpkin Sage Pasta
This weeknight pasta is sweet, cosy, and basically comfort food at its finest. It comes together in under thirty minutes and relies mainly on pantry ingredients and pumpkin (or butternut squash) which, when crisped first and then softened with stock and wine, adds creaminess, depth of flavour and heartiness. The ratio of pasta to veg is entirely in your hands: feel free to double the amount of pumpkin and decrease the amount of pasta, for an extra veg-forward dinner that's just as satisfying and delicious.
2 tbsp olive oil
300g shallots, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, smashed
½ tsp salt
500g pumpkin or butternut squash (1 small)
4 sage leaves, chopped
100ml vegetable stock (or water)
25ml white wine
350g short pasta (such as rigatoni, penne, conchiglie etc.)
Ground black pepper
Vegan parmesan, to top (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the smashed garlic and a pinch of salt, and sauté for 3-4 more minutes, until the shallots are starting to brown.
While the shallots and garlic cook, prepare the pumpkin (or butternut squash). Peel and de-seed it, then finely slice it into pieces that are roughly 5cm long and 1cm wide.
Add them to the saucepan along with the sage leaves and another good pinch of salt and stir to coat in oil. Let the sliced pumpkin for 8-10 minutes, only stirring it half way through, until it starts to brown in a few spots.
Add the vegetable stock, pop the lid on the pan and let cook for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Remove the lid, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until any remaining liquid has thickened. Add wine and cook it down for 3-4 minutes, until it has reduced.
Use a wooden spoon to break up and mash half of the pieces of pumpkin. Remove the smashed clove of garlic. Taste for salt and adjust to taste.
While the pumpkin cooks, prepare the pasta according to the package instructions in salted water. Save 100ml of pasta cooking water before draining the pasta.
Add the drained pasta and reserved cooking water to the saucepan with the pumpkin, and stir together over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the pasta is glossy and coated in the pumpkin.
Stir in 30g vegan parmesan (if using) and a pinch of black pepper. Taste for seasoning one last time, and adjust to taste.
Divide amongst bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and vegan parmesan.
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.