Rigatoni with Butternut Squash

, from Issue #65. March, 2016
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Rigatoni with Butternut Squash

There are layers of flavour in this dish. Keep the butternut on the dry side but use enough pasta water and olive oil to keep everything moist. 

Serves: 6–8


1 medium butternut pumpkin, weighing about 900 grams
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
150 grams creamy style feta, patted dry
2 tablespoons pine nuts, roasted
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
400 grams torchiette (pictured), rigatoni or tubular pasta
2 cloves crushed garlic
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon Dijonnaise mustard
finely grated zest 1 lemon
2 cups trimmed rocket leaves
lemon-infused extra virgin olive for drizzling 


Preheat oven to 200°C. Halve butternut lengthwise and remove seeds. Brush flesh with butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Place seasoned side down on a lined baking tray. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until the skin has coloured and the flesh is tender. Remove from oven and cool.

Increase the oven to 220°C. Scoop flesh from butternut skin and return it to roasting tray. Cook for 12–15 minutes, until dry and lightly browned. Roughly chop and set aside.

Slice feta and lay on a lined baking tray. Cook for 12–15 minutes at 200°C, or until lightly golden.

Cook pasta in plenty of gently boiling well-salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Whisk 2 tablespoons of oil, the garlic nutmeg, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl large enough to hold the pasta then whisk in 2–3 tablespoons of the pasta water.

Add drained pasta and toss gently. Add butternut, feta and lemon zest. Toss lightly, add rocket, and toss again. Serve topped with pine nuts and a drizzle of lemon-infused olive oil. Serve immediately.