Extremely Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Bake
There is this pizza from a pizza place chain that makes delicious pizza with a pumpkin base instead of a tomato base. So I got my inspiration for this recipe from this pizza. I wanted to come up with something nice for a friend who was coming over for dinner because I could not make it to his birthday. So obviously I thought "let's do something for which I do not have a recipe and if nothing goes to plan we'll just have to go out for fast food". Always have a back-up plan. Mine is dürum. But my recipe turned out very nicely and I will make it again!
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
- half a pumpkin
- 600g lamb mince
- 500g of pasta (farfalle)
- grated mozzarella
- 300ml of chicken stock (or a cube with water)
- a roughly chopped onion
- a couple of cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- a can of chopped tomato
- some cream cheese
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?
- First of all chop the pumpkin, which has been removed of skin and seeds, into cubes. Add them to a hot casserole with some olive oil, the onion, garlic, some salt and pepper and the thyme. When the onion has softened, add the tomatoes, the chicken stock (or cube with water) and sugar.
- While this is simmering on a low heat, take the minced lamb and brown it in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Break it all up with a wooden spoon. I chose to use lamb because it would complement the thyme, garlic and sweetness of the pumpkin sauce. I guess that, if you can't find lamb mince, you can use a pork-beef mixture without a problem.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet but cook it for a couple of minutes less, because the pasta will cook further in the oven. So take off about 3 or 4 minutes.
- When the pumpkin has softened, allow it to become a sauce by mixing it all together. If you are using fresh thyme sprigs, make sure to take them out. You can add them again when you're done mixing.
- Leave the pumpkin mix on a mid to low heat and allow it to simmer so the sauce becomes more compact. Make sure you stir it regularly. Add the cream cheese and allow it to melt while stirring it in.
- Finally, grab an oven dish, add the pasta and the sauce. Take out the thyme sprigs. Mix it all together with a spoon, making sure the sauce is nicely spread around and sprinkle the mozzarella on top before you pop it in a preheated oven (180°C).
- When the cheese has melted, turn on the grill. The Pumpkin Pasta Bake is ready when the cheese has browned and has formed a light crust.