Pasta with Roasted Butternut Pumpkin


This post should be titled ‘Orecchiette with Roasted Butternut etc etc’ but shitting Sainsbury’s don’t sell orecchiette.  Or, at least, the branch nearest me doesn’t, which seems absurd seeing as it’s planted firmly in the posh version of middle class in West London. Insanity.  It does sell fusilli, the reserve pasta for those who have stopped caring.  It all seems so mixed up.

ANYWAY, so it’s just pasta.  Use whatever kind you like.  I made this again yesterday with Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the Difference’ parpadelle which was somehow faulty and disintegrated into broken bits of spaghetti as soon as it hit the boiling water.  I might have to change pasta supplier, eh.

Either way, it’s very bloody tasty.

Not much going on here – I’m currently one of the filthy unemployed which means NewHuman suffers my company on an unrestricted basis, which much be a pleasure for him.  I mostly strap him down into his pram and walk for miles around my bit of town, perving in all the windows of the big houses and eeking out my £5/day allowance on a coffee and some kind of flaky crumb for the bebe.  POOR ME.  This unemployment does however mean that the boyfriend is rewarded with proper meals once again, rather than the sad relationship he was developing with packet ham and cold cheese.  He is happier, I think, but also wanders around patting his belly whilst sadly shaking his head,and counting holes on his belt.

Oh well, we’ll be nice and fat again in time for our Italian jaunt to Lido. A pleasure to see all three of us beached on the sand, for sure.

Oky dokes.  Pasta.



600g butternut pumpkin, cut into 1cm cubes (I just cut up the long, non-seedy bit of a whole squash, reserving the rest to use later)
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
250g cherry tomatoes  (use lots, the tomatoes help make a yummo sauce)
250g thinly sliced round pancetta (what the hell is round pancetta? This is an Aussie Women’s Weekly recipe – if you’re UK just use pancetta cubes, it’s easier)
500g orecchiette pasta (as discussed, whatever you like. I used trompetti first time around)
18 fresh sage leaves (this was awfully specific. I did not use 18 leaves. I should’ve. The sage is GOOD)
finely grated pecorino cheese, to serve (I used parmesan and no-one suffered)


In a big roasting tray chuck all the bits in.  I also added about 1.5 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes because I was craving hot weather. Totally logical.  Season well, be generous.  Stick into a pre-heated oven at 200C or 180C fan-forced.  If you’re making this for lots of people use a couple of trays so the stuff isn’t all crowded and doesn’t go all mushy.


Roast for, say, 20-25mins or so, till the tomatoes can’t take it and burst (poor darlings) and the pancetta and pumpkin start to go golden and yum.


Fry off your sage leaves in a little olive oil and place to one side on some kitchen towel. They only need half a minute on each side and will go nice and crispy. Easy. Also, people (ie: the boyfriend) will be so impressed you fried sage that it’s worth the minimal faff.

Whilst all this is going on you’ve clearly had on a big pot of salted water to boil and have cooked your pasta.


NewHuman is getting inconveniently tall.

Rightyo – drain your pasta but leave a bit of cooking liquid in – ie: don’t shake out every last drop like the boyfriend INSISTS on doing.  The starchy water helps make a nice sauce.

Stir through the cheese, most of the crunched up sage leaves and all the tomatoes and pancetta and butternut.  Garnish with a bit more cheese and a whole sage leaf.  You can probably dispense with the whole sage leaf unless you’re cooking this for company.

Is good.  Bon appetite, or whatever that is in Italian.




2 thoughts on “Pasta with Roasted Butternut Pumpkin

  1. narf77 says:

    Doesn’t sell orecchiette? THE TRAVESTY! Try living someplace that doesn’t even sell frozen Brussels sprouts…THEN you can complain about something ma’am ;). I most probably would use fusilli as at least the supermarkets sell it and as I married the human equivalent of a hoover, he is past caring so fusilli it is!

    I see the boyfriend hasn’t yet resorted to Stevie-boys cry of “I AM ONLY ONE MAN WOMAN!” too bad sunshine, I can’t eat it, and you can…”EAT UP!” At least those hot Italian babes won’t bother to check him out if he is all loaded up on pasta and unable to right himself once he exits the surf…always gotta look at the positives ma’am, it’s the Aussie way remember…channel the force young padawan…

    Looks like New Human is into your vinyl…I notice he bypassed the easily accessible game selection underneath that unit. Shows tenacity and a desire to stretch to his boundaries (good luck with that ma’am, you are going to need to think fast with this one!)

    Thanks for the tutorial on frying sage. I have about 10 sage plants. A friend thought that I needed them and bought me a punnet and watched over me (like Hitler) while I planted them all out…I like me a bit of sage occasionally but this is ridiculous! Is she trying to tell me something? If so I have NO idea what this riddle means and I give up! I am going to strip them all and fry them. I will probably attempt to eat all of the fried sage. I may, or may not need hospitalisation. It may, or may not (no…It MAY) be all your fault. Have a great mother’s day next week. As an expat you get 2 mothers days. Make SURE you point this out to The Boyfriend and as you are mostly Aussie (with only your outer skin infested by the old country) you need something really good for mother’s day. Take New Human and about a year of daily allowances and go find yourself something delightful. You only live once and unemployment gives you all of the time in the world to spend money you don’t have 🙂

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