pumpkin with garlic, chilli and thyme

this is the first week when the weather in frankfurt has felt properly autumnal. we’ve had several weeks of the leaves turning various shades of red and orange then starting to fall, but up until now the temperatures have been very mild. however, there is now a definite nip in the air and i’ve been enjoying looking at recipes better suited to colder weather.

pumpkin (and squash) is a favourite vegetable of mine and i’ve been enjoying pairing it with garlic, chilli (a bit too much chilli on occasion, now i’ve found a source for properly hot chillies!) and thyme.

this pasta was the starting point for this combination – while cooking the pasta i fried small pumpkin pieces in a mix of olive oil and butter with garlic and chilli. once i could smell the garlic i added a pinch of thyme leaves and a ladle of water from the pasta pan - the water helps the pumpkin cook quickly and creates a bit of a sauce. everything came together at roughly the same time, but i did add the pasta to the pumpkin pan, along with a bit of extra water, to help the flavours meld.

i used the same flavours in a risotto later in the week, using fennel in place of the onion that usually kicks off a risotto recipe (this squash and fennel soup reminded me what a great combination these two flavours create) and adding a ball of mozzarella at the end of the cooking period, to give a bit of extra richness. i’ve also used garlic, chilli and thyme to flavour some roasted pumpkin, which we ate with roast chicken.