Sweet roasted pumpkin, salty bacon, earthy sage and a garlicky cream sauce all wrapped round linguine pasta…this Bacon, Sage and Pumpkin Pasta will have you licking the plate and wishing you had made more!
I spend a lot of time thinking about food… Obviously I tell myself that I am doing some very important business planning – food is after all my job… But really I am just greedy…and totally obsessed with flavour, and especially fabulous flavour combinations.
I get a combination of flavours stuck in my head and I NEED to try it out. That’s exactly what happened with this recipe. I started off by thinking it might be nice to make a lovely autumnal pumpkin pasta recipe for Easy Peasy Foodie…and then I began to think what might go nicely…salty, smoky bacon would contrast brilliantly of course, and them my little brain was like ‘ooh garlic’, ‘ooh sage’, ‘ooh CRISPY sage, ‘ooh chilli’, ooh CREAM!!!’ and so this recipe born in my head.
But of course, as we all know, a recipe stuck inside my brain is of no use at all to anyone. This recipe needed to be tested…and of course I don’t really need to tell you that it tasted AMAZING!! (I mean I really would have to be a very bad cook to make that particular combo taste bad, wouldn’t I?)
This Bacon, Sage and Pumpkin Pasta tastes every bit as good as it sounds…and then some! I love how there is that sort of synergy that goes on with recipes like these…the ingredients on their own are pretty fabulous…but put them together and they are off the chart!
I’m hoping I’ve pretty much convinced you this recipe NEEDS to be tried…but just in case you are not yet convinced…did I mention it only takes 30 minutes??? And it is of course just as easy peasy as you’d expect from me…making it perfect for a quick midweek supper.
But just as with all my favourite recipes (and this one has zoomed straight in to my all-time top 10, for sure) it looks quite fancy, making it great for easy entertaining too!
This Bacon, Sage and Pumpkin Pasta would be a perfect way to use up any leftover pumpkin you might have lurking about. And if you don’t have any pumpkin to hand it works fabulously with butternut squash too.
If you want to make this veggie, simply swap the bacon for some walnuts. This would also work well using a little bit of blue cheese if you happen to have any of that in your fridge (add it in at the same time as you add the crème fraiche). And if you are not of fan of sage you could use basil or spinach instead (but just add them in at the end, don’t try roasting them!)
I really love the slightly tangy flavour of crème fraiche – I think it really enhances this kind of dish and stops it becoming too cloying, but if crème fraiche is not your thing use regular cream instead.
I personally think this sauce works best with linguine or any other similar long thin pasta such as spaghetti, tagliatelle or fettucine but feel free to use whatever pasta shape you like or happen to have in the house – it will still taste good!
As I’ve mentioned before, Chardonnay goes exceptionally well with pumpkin…but this time go for a lighter, crisper version to cut through all that creaminess…an unoaked Chardonnay from France, Chile or New Zealand would work well. Or else try a crisp Italian white such as Soave or Pinot Grigio.
Bacon, Sage and Pumpkin Pasta
- 500 g pumpkin or butternut squash chopped into 1cm / ½ inch cubes (ish!)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 20 sage leaves left whole
- 10 sage leaves chopped finely
- 300 g linguine (or spaghetti, tagliatelle or any other pasta shape you like)
- 100 g lardons or diced smoked bacon
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 300 g crème fraîche
- Black pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan to serve
Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C / gas mark 7 / 425F.
Place the chopped pumpkin in a large roasting tin, so that it fits in a single layer and is nicely spread out (or use 2 roasting trays).
Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss the pumpkin in the oil then arrange back into a single layer.
Roast in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove the pumpkin from the oven and add the 20 whole sage leaves. Turn everything in the oil and roast for a further 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and the sage leaves are crispy (but not burnt!).
While the pumpkin is roasting, cook the pasta according to packet instructions / your own preferences. Drain reserving a little of the cooking water.
While the pasta is cooking make the sauce. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat for 1 minute. Add the bacon and fry for 3 minutes until lightly browned, stirring frequently.
Turn the heat right down, then add the garlic, chilli flakes and finely chopped sage. Fry gently for 1 minute then add the crème fraîche, black pepper and roasted pumpkin (but not the whole sage leaves).
Add the drained pasta and a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water to the sauce and stir until the sauce is warmed through and evenly coats the pasta.
Serve the pasta topped with the crispy roasted sage leaves and plenty of parmesan cheese.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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