Saturday, 16 June 2012

Pasta with Tomatoes and Butternut Squash

This is a huge fallback recipe for us - in fact for my whole family. The basic flavours are all there: tomatoes - sharp, squash - sweet, bacon - umami, Parmesan - salt, and herbs for depth and I guess any bitterness that one might want in food! It's really easy to put together, especially if you have leftover sausages and/or roast butternut squash or pumpkin lying around in the fridge, as we frequently do. But I'll give the recipe 'from scratch' assuming no shortcuts.


  • one small, or half of a large butternut squash, or equivalent amount of tasty eating pumpkin
  • a good handful of fresh rosemary or oregano, cleaned and chopped (or 1-2 tsp dried)
  • a couple of sausages, or 5-6 rashers of bacon
  • four ripe tomatoes, or a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • five cloves of garlic
  • a chunk of Parmesan cheese

Cube the butternut squash, and if you have time, roast it in a 180C oven for 40 minutes tossed in the herbs and a little vegetable oil, until golden and singed at the edges. If you don't have time, just cube it and toss with the herbs. Grill or fry the sausages or bacon until cooked, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Chop the tomatoes (remove the skins first if you're picky). Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and crush in the garlic; fry over a low heat for 30-50 seconds until golden and fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir. If you didn't roast the butternut squash, add it now, and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and reduced into a sauce. This is also a good time to cook your pasta.

When the sauce is cooked, add the cooked sausages or bacon, and roasted butternut squash if you didn't add it earlier. Warm through, and serve over drained pasta, which you can toss with a little pesto or crème fraîche if you like.

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