Sam's Pumpkin & Ricotta Pasta
Pumpkin and ricotta are the best of friends. The caramelised earthy texture married together with a creaminess that's not going to send you to the cardio doc.. Choose your own pasta type, although I suggest something with a bit of texture behind it.. ravioli, gnocchi, orechiett etc. Fresh is best, but Barilla is my go to for packet pastas. Ingredients: Olive oil 30 grams butter^ 2 cloves of crushed garlic 1 small chilli 1 red onion, finely sliced (1 rasher of bacon finely chopped) 1/4 jap pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 3 cm chunks. 100-120 grams fresh ricotta* 120ml cream White wine for cooking Handful of fresh basil & parsley Pasta of choice Salt & Pepper to taste ^This doesn't need to be accurate, just enough to coat your pan for caramelising. *Most supermarket delis these days stock fresh ricotta. It's fresher, cheaper and tastier.
Pumpkins are glorious and not only for halloween..
Method: Get your pasta water on the boil with some salt. Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin and precook by steaming in a microwave container for 3 minutes. Chop the garlic, onion and chilli and bring a pan to medium heat with a generous glug of olive oil and some butter. Add the garlic, onion and chilli and sauce. You don't want the garlic or butter to burn, so control the temperature. Add the pumpkin pieces and begin the caramelisation process - remembering the pumpkin is already partly cooked. After 5 minutes on controlled heat, fire it up and deglaze the pan with some white wine (I always keep a forgotten bottle of opened white wine in the fridge at the ready) and add the cream. If using dried pasta, add this now as it will need 7-10 minutes. For fresh pasta, this will only need a few minutes so time accordingly and remember add a couple of spoonfuls of pasta water to the sauce, as you should do in any pasta recipe. Return the pan to medium heat as not to burn the pasta sauce and continue stirring. Drain pasta when cooked and return to pot. Add pumpkin sauce to the pasta pot and stir generously. Season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point, stir through the fresh ricotta, basil and parsley. It will smell wonderful as it gently heats through. Try serving this with a white wine with a bit of acidity to part the way through the caramelised textures. A 2015 Zonte's 'Dusk Til Dawn' Chardonnay will be a great choice, with it's gentle oak and rounded citrus.