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There is something blissful and delicious about pumpkin and pasta.  It is a favourite combination of ours and one we never tire of.     I only get to cook a couple of times a week (thank you Mr MWCED),  but even then I sometimes leave the run a little late in the day and need something easy and quick.  This may not be the quickest,  but it was easy, and anyway during the two main cooking times you can always pour a glass or 2 of wine.   I think the weather had chilled down a bit,  and I had a yearning for some comfort food (my body doesn’t need it,  but my mind certainly did!).   This recipe came from food.ninemsn.com.au and as usual I made a few tweaks:

Baked Pasta with Pumpkin, Feta and Basil

500g pumpkin, peeled and chopped
3 rashers bacon, rind removed, chopped
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tablespoons oil
400g rigatoni pasta (or best alternative)
100g feta, crumbled
½ cup parsley, chopped
lots of basil leaves, chopped
½ cup (50g) grated mozzarella

Preheat oven to 190C or 170C fan. Place pumpkin, bacon, garlic and half of oil in a baking pan and toss to coat. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until pumpkin is tender. Squeeze garlic from skin.
Meanwhile cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water according to packet directions. Drain, preserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
Combine pasta, pumpkin, bacon, garlic flesh, feta, parsley and basil plus remaining oil in a 10 cup ovenproof dish.  (Do you ever know how many cups your dish is?  I wouldn’t have clue,  so just choose whatever looks to be the right size).  At this stage I also sprinkle through just a tad of dried mixed herbs.  Pour over reserved liquid and top with mozzarella.   Bake for 25 minutes, until golden.  When serving use some basil sprigs for garnish.

A definite dish to repeat in the winter.  It will be one of our weekend standbys.   Hope you like it too.