roasted pumpkin and pasta

something different, not sweets for my sweets, for a bit of a change.
roasted pumpkin and pasta and cheese
this dish earned the co-starring role to husband’s main dish of wiener schnitzel (or you can co-star it with my pork schnitzel). i love how the pumpkins and sage go together! my sturdy little sage bush in the little patch of herb garden outside–in the frozen arctic air!–still had some soft little baby leaves. must remember: pumpkins and sage, pumpkins and sage.
i think it’s a great winter belly-warmer. just make sure and use a firm-fleshed pumpkin or squash.

2 tbsps. olive oil
1 lb. pumpkin or butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes)

4 ozs. burrata mozzarella
2 ozs. ricotta cheese
(or just the equivalent of 6 ozs. fresh mozzarella cheese)
4 tbsps. unsalted butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsps. chopped fresh sage leaves, plus extra whole leaves, to serve
grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
10 ozs. dried pasta, such us fusilli bucati or cavatappi, (i used penne) about 5 cups
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

preheat the oven to 400°F.
put the olive oil in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven for 5 minutes, until hot.
add pumpkin/squash to the hot oil in the roasting pan. add salt and pepper and toss to coat. roast for 30 minutes, turning the pumpkin or squash from time to time until tender and golden.

put the mozzarella, ricotta, butter, garlic, sage, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. work into a coarse paste. transfer to a sheet of wax paper or cling film and roll into a cylinder. chill for at least 20 minutes or until firm enough to slice.
mozzarella butter

prepare pasta according to package directions, to al dente.
drain and return to the warm pan. add the roasted pumpkin or squash. slice or chop the mozzarella butter and add to the pasta.
toss, and top with sage leaves.
(based on a recipe from “easy vegetarian, simple recipes for brunch, lunch and dinner”, pub. Ryland, Peters & Small, ed. Sharon Ashman, 2003.)