Creamy Chilli Pumpkin Pasta with Chestnut & Sourdough Crumb

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

This is a comforting, indulgent hug in a bowl, full of the flavours of autumn with a warming kick from the chilli. It’s based on a BBC Good Food recipe and is great for using up your leftover halloween pumpkin (more recipes here), but would work equally with any other of the season’s squash (like Crown Prince, Butternut or Delicata).

The addition of the parmesan, chestnut and toasted sourdough topping adds another dimension.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 500g pumpkin or squash, cut into wedges
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 350g rigatoni pasta 
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 50g grated parmesan 
  • A handful of roasted chestnuts (I roasted my own last week, but shop-bought is fine)
  • One slice of stale sourdough bread


  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low-medium heat and fry the onion with a pinch of salt for 10-15 mins until translucent. Add the minced garlic and fry for a few minutes more. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, drizzle the pumpkin wedges with olive oil and roast them in a 200c oven until tender when pierced with a cutlery knife. Scrape the flesh off the skins (you can use the skin to make pumpkin chips) and pop them into a food processor. Blitz with the milk, onions, chilli and sage until smooth, with the consistency of pancake batter.
  • Tip the pumpkin mixture into a large pan and add the tomato purée and mascarpone. Bring to a simmer over a low heat, stirring to combine the ingredients.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water following pack instructions. Whilst the pasta is cooking, gently toast the cooked chestnuts in a dry pan, and pop the stale sourdough in the toaster.
  • When both the bread and the chestnuts are cool, add them to a food processor with 10g of parmesan and blitz until the desired consistency; you can keep it chunky or blitz down to a ‘flavour dust’ like I have here.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving a mugful of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pumpkin sauce, stir through the remaining 40g of parmesan and some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Season, and scatter with the chestnut, parmesan and sourdough topping – and some extra parmesan to finish.

Note: This recipe makes enough for four people. If like me, you live in a two person household, this will heat up well the next day – just add a little milk to the pan to help loosen everything up again.


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