It’s happening! The leaves are going bright golden colors and falling to the ground. They sound all crispy underfoot and everywhere people have got thick coats, tights and layers on. Layers, I’m avoiding it all. Testing myself without tights, despite the weird looks I’m getting for those bare legs. I’ve not given in and worn a coat yet.
Meanwhile, in my pajama shorts I’ve been enjoying or rather enamored with Narcos. The latest show from Netflix that has hooked a lot of us to spend ten hours away from civilization, reading Spanish subtitles to understand the incredible history of Pablo Escobar Gaviria (who had a third name I wasn’t aware of). If you haven’t been hooked into this yet just watch the first episode and you’ll soon have watched three episodes in a row. How are you whittling away your time in these cooling days?
It seems its pasta season because all I’ve been craving the last day is pasta. Let’s be completely honest like we are playing a game of truth or dare and the subject is of course food always. Pasta isn’t something I eat very often. In fact, a packet I’ve of spaghetti has been sitting in my cupboard untouched all year. Then today during grocery shopping I stared and studied all the different kinds of pasta available, gnocchi, tagliatelle, macaroni and all I wanted was these shell shaped ones. Seems they’re my favorite and like that they were thrown into my basket.
The pumpkin in this brings a delightful golden color that is topped with cheese which is baked until crispy. It’s a filling vegetarian dish for your ‘no meat’ days and the fennel is a perfect addition to the pumpkin and onions.
Pumpkin and Fennel Pasta Bake
1 fennel, green removed, halved and finely sliced
1 onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced
1 small butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
Handful mozzarella, grated
1 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of salt
400 grams/1 pound shell pasta
1 cup mozzarella, grated
Place the fennel and onion with a little oil in a saucepan with a lid on low heat for 25 minutes or until light caramelized, stirring every few minutes to ensure they don’t burn.
Meanwhile, place the pumpkin in a pot with enough water to cover the base and cook on medium heat until soft. Discard the water and puree the pumpkin.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350F.
Place the milk into the saucepan with the mozzarella, pumpkin, curry powder, salt and pasta on medium heat to simmer uncovered. Cook until the pasta is cooked and the mixture has thickened.
Spoon into a baking dish and top with the mozzarella. Bake until golden for approximately 15 minutes.