I woke up to the sound of lovely bird song this morning, the sun was shining, and on closer inspection, the daffodil heads had come up from between their green shoots. How exciting, spring will come again! And after a long walk with the dog, I fancied a pasta dish I made for Kitchen Garden Magazine back in November.
For this deliciously heart-warming dish, use either pumpkin or butternut squash. They both work well, but sometimes pumpkin can be hard to find out with Halloween, unless you have a farm shop near by.
What makes this dish a little different is the pan-frying of the pasta. This merges and melts all the flavours into a mouthwatering lunch or dinner.
1 medium butternut squash
1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
a dash of olive oil
1 small handful fresh sage leaves
50g pumpkin seeds
good quality hard cheese , grated for the top
salt and pepper to taste
Pre heat the oven to 200C/fan 190C/gas mark 7.
Peel and dice the butternut squash, discarding the seed pulp.
Add the squash to an oven proof dish, along side the onion, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes until soft.
Add the pasta to a pan of boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Remove the baked squash from the oven, and lightly mash with a wooden spoon.
Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan or wok, add the garlic, sage leaves, pumpkin seeds and squash mixture. Lightly fry for 2-3 minutes.
Next add the cooked pasta and fry for a further 5 minutes, until golden.
Serve with grated parmigiana cheese, and fresh black pepper.