zoom Butternut, spinach & tahini pasta
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    Butternut, spinach & tahini pasta

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    Butternut, spinach & tahini pasta

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    1 golden butternut squash (approx 1kg), peeled and diced into 1.5cm cubes
    350g conchiglie rigate
    2 tbsp tahini
    2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    Juice ½ lemon
    5 tsp olive oil
    2 x 115g packs baby spinach
    4 sprigs thyme, leaves only, roughly chopped
    40g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated, to serve
    2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

    Method

    1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and rest a colander or steamer above the water level. Add the butternut squash to the colander or steamer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add the conchiglie to the water underneath for the final 12 minutes (covering the entire pan with a lid). Then drain, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan, off the heat. Set the butternut squash aside.

    2. In batches, add the butternut squash to a blender (or use a stick blender) and blend it with the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and 5 tbsp pasta cooking water.

    3. Add this mixture to the pan of pasta, together with the spinach and return to a low heat briefly to warm through, adding more of the reserved pasta water to loosen, if liked. Season with plenty of coarsely ground black pepper and stir through most of the thyme leaves and about half the cheese and pine nuts. Divide between four bowls and top with the remaining cheese, pine nuts and thyme leaves.

    Cook’s tip Did you know you can freeze citrus fruit? So if you’re only using half a lemon, cut the rest into slices and freeze individually ready for use, or in ice cube trays with water for a tasty addition to drinks.
     

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