For me, one of the best things about working in fashion was the travel. The first time I tasted pumpkin and sage together was in the Reggio Emilia area of Italy, which at the... time, also happened to be the center of the knitwear industry. For an English girl in her twenties, eating this almost exotic combo in a tiny country trattoria was a taste revelation. This Pumpkin & Sage Pasta is an easy fall pumpkin pasta for you to see what I mean.
Cut the pumpkin into quarters and remove seeds. Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Line on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until soft about 40-50 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Let cool slightly and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skins.
Boil salted water for the pasta. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the garlic, red pepper flakes, sage, and a pinch of salt. Cook stirring occasionally until the garlic is golden, about 3-5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, mashing and stirring until heated through.
Divide the pasta among serving plates, then top with the pumpkin sauce and a spoonful of ricotta and freshly grated Parmesan.
Kabocha is the nearest in taste to the Italian pumpkins. It has a wonderful nutty taste and an almost floury texture when cooked.