Cozy up with a bowl of this warm pumpkin bolognese with delicious tomato meat sauce. It comes together in a pinch so its perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
- 4 cups pasta
- 1 1/ 3 pound ground beef
- 1/ 2 small pumpkin, cubed, with skin, seeded
- 3 cups passata or tomato puree
- 1 3/ 4 cup beef stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon each: dried thyme, sage, marjoram, smoked paprika, chili flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/ 2 cup ricotta
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wide heavy-based saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and celery stirring occasionally, over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin cubes, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add fennel, cook for 5 minutes more.
Turn the heat up to high, add the minced beef and break it up a little. Turn the heat back down to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the spices, season with salt and pepper. Add beef stock and simmer for 10minutes. Then add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cover, simmer for 10 minutes more or until the pumpkin is tender.
In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, add the ricotta, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan, salt and black pepper to a small bowl and whip together until combined. Set aside.
Serve plates of pasta with the sauce and ricotta spooned over top. Add a sprinkle of chili flakes and thyme. Enjoy!