Pumpkin, Pine Nuts, Prosciutto, Pasta, Panna Cotta, Perfection

20 Dec

Mum and I had an Italian themed Saturday night at home this weekend, so I made a pasta dish, panna cotta and we washed it all down with some rosé while watching ‘Under The Tuscan Sun’.

This pasta dish is something I have thrown together many times using a few variations. Sometimes I make a similar dish based on roasted vegetables with pesto and haloumi cheese minus the pasta.

Pumpkin, pine nut, prosciutto, sage and goat’s cheese pasta

1 packet of pasta

450g organic butternut pumpkin

A small handful of pine nuts

5 paper thin slices of prosciutto

10 fresh large sage leaves

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 brown onion diced

Log of goat’s cheese

Extra virgin olive oil



Peel and dice the pumpkin into 2cm cubes, place it in a baking tray with 2 broken cloves of garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cover and bake the pumpkin at 200ºc for approximately 25 minutes or until the pumpkin is just tender.

Start boiling a pot of salted water to cook the pasta in once the pumpkin is ready and at the same time, saute the onion in olive oil until clear, add the prosciutto and garlic and then the pine nuts. Add a generous knob of butter to the pan and add 6 large sage leaves. Place the ingredients in a bowl when the sage and prosciutto are crispy but before the onion starts to brown.

Fry the 4 remaining sage leaves in hot butter and set aside with the browned butter when crispy. Toss the pumpkin and some goat’s cheese through the toasted ingredients.

Drain the cooked pasta and toss through some of the pumpkin mixture and a drizzle of olive oil to keep the pasta moist. Top with some of the pumpkin mixture, extra goat’s cheese and crispy sage leaves.

Vanilla bean panna cotta with strawberry Franjelly is something I came up with one summer to put a refreshing twist on the traditional panna cotta which can be a bit rich after a filling Italian meal.


1 packet strawberry jelly

5 large strawberries sliced

100ml Frangelico

250ml boiling water

100ml ice water

Empty the packet of jelly into a jug and pour over the boiling water while stirring until completely dissolved.

Add the Frangelico and the ice water, stir well.

Place a few slices of strawberry in the bottom of each cup or mould and then pour the Franjelly over the top. Leave in the fridge until completely set.

Panna Cotta

2 cups pure cream

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

2 teaspoons gelatin powder

boiling water

Bring the cream and sugar to the boil in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Put the gelatin in a small bowl and add just enough boiling water to dissolve the gelatin while stirring. Add the gelatin and vanilla bean paste to the hot cream and sugar and stir well. Allow to cool enough that you can put your finger in the cream mixture but don’t leave it to cool so much that it starts to form a skin and set. Transfer to a jug and pour over the Franjelly and put the cups or moulds straight back in the fridge to finish setting.

To test when the panna cotta is set, give the mould or cup a gentle shake. If the panna cotta still looks liquidy, leave it to set until it’s firm but wobbly. When you’re ready to serve, put the cup or mould in some hot water for a few seconds to loosen the edges, place a plate over the top and tip the cup or mould upside down onto the plate and give it a gentle shake. You will hear the suction release and the dessert land on the plate. You will have a bit of sauce around the dessert from the Franjelly and panna cotta melting when you immersed it in hot water. To avoid this, leave the dessert at room temperature until it’s soft enough to slide out or use a knife to loosen the edges but it probably won’t look smooth.
Buon appetito 🙂


2 Responses to “Pumpkin, Pine Nuts, Prosciutto, Pasta, Panna Cotta, Perfection”

  1. Antoniette December 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    All looks so delicious! You’re a genius!! xx

    • Jessica Fernandez December 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks darling! You’ve inspired me to try lavender panna cotta next xox

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