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Emma’s pumpkin pasta.

‘May Jack o-lanterns burning bright

Of soft and golden hue

Pierce through the future’s veil and show

What fate now holds for you.’

– Author unknown

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Don’t be fooled into thinking pumpkins are just for carving this Halloween.  Full of antioxidants and disease-fighting vitamins, these gourds are a bonafide superfood.

Pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene.  This provitamin is converted into vitamin A in the body, essential for both eye and coronary health.

But you don’t need to choose fresh to get the benefits of Pumpkin.  Canned pumpkin has more fibre and protein than the fresh stuff, is low in calories and packed full of vitamins.

Impress your guests this Halloween with my delicious and nutritious pumpkin pasta bake.  A creamy, cheesy, comforting fall dinner topped with crispy sage.

Serves 4

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Ingredients

One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 red onion finely chopped

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage

2 pinches cinnamon

2 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to season

olive oil

1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup grated cheddar

2 rashers bacon

4 mushrooms

300g Penne pasta

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Preparation Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.  In a large pot of salted water cook the penne pasta until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan fry onion, garlic and sage over a moderately low heat until the onion is softened.
  3. Transfer the onion and garlic mixture to a food processor, add the pumpkin puree and process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drain the pasta and wipe the pot dry.  Scrape the pumpkin puree from the blender into the pot and cook over a low heat until hot.
  5. Meanwhile fry the bacon and the mushrooms in a separate frying pan for 2- 3 minutes.
  6. Mix the mascarpone and the 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese into the pumpkin puree.
  7. Add in the pasta, two cups of chicken stock and the cooked bacon and mushroom.
  8. Gently mix pasta and sauce together until it is thoroughly coated.

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    Crispy sage

  9. While pasta is heating through fry the remains of the sage in a frying pan for 2-3 minutes until crispy.  When done transfer sage to a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  10. Transfer pasta to baking dish and sprinkle grated cheese over the top.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and sprinkle with crispy sage.

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Miles has requested his handsome face be carved into this years pumpkin!

Wishing you all a very Happy Halloween.  Emma, Ross, Baby Alice and Miles xx