Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta

All credit for this recipe goes to Lindsay from ‘Pinch of Yum‘. I can’t help but share it in time for Halloween when pumpkin is so readily available (and bacon is so good) – the only change for this version is using the whole pumpkin rather than ready-made puree. It’s more work but well worth it! You can also keep some of the roasted pumpkin whole to give an extra textural dimension.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • Diced Free Range or Organic Springfield Chicken Fillet
  • 500g dried macaroni
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • 120g mozerella
  • 1 pack thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 white onion
  • a splash of white wine (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium pumpkin
  • 230ml chicken broth
  • 230ml milk
  • 50ml cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh bunch of sage
  • Fresh bunch of parsley
  • Whole nutmeg (ground is fine)
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Roast the pumpkin: Cut the lid off the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds (these are great as a snack roasted on their own with a little seasoning!) Once hallowed out, use a sharp knife to cut the pumpkin in half, and then into 1 inch slices. Toss these in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and a pinch of nutmeg. Lay them on a baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes.

TIP: It’s so much easier to take the skin off pumpkin when it’s roasted and you can spoon the flesh away from the skin. Don’t fight with the tough skin of a raw pumpkin!

Caramelize the onions: Heat the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Cut the onion into thin slices and add to the melted butter in the pan. Keeping the heat on medium-low, cook the onions until they are caramelized and deep golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. You can add a splash of white wine as they’re cooking to get a little extra sweetness.

Make the sauce: Put the garlic, roasted flesh from the pumpkin without the skin, chicken broth, milk, olive oil, salt, sage, nutmeg, and pepper in a blender and pulse until smooth. Add to the caramelized onions in the pan and cook until heated through.

Prep pasta, chicken, and bacon: Cook the pasta according to package directions -1 minute. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, add the diced chicken and bacon along with a tablespoon of oil to a separate pan and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside.

Assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Toss the cooked pasta, chicken, and bacon with the pumpkin sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Transfer to a greased baking dish, top with the parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and let stand a few minutes before serving.