This delicious pasta sauce recipe comes from Lannice Snyman’s book on cooking for  friends and family  – Posh Nosh. Pumpkin doesn’t have to remain stuck in the foody doldrums forever; it may be flossied up in all manner of posh ways.  This yummy pasta sauce recipe being just one of them. And pumpkin seeds aren’t just good to crunch; they are hugely nutritious and believed to ward off prostate problems and preserve virility. A wide variety of pumpkin can be used, including butternut.  At the Wickedfood Cooking School test kitchen we recently used beautiful little orange pumpkins which are coming into season.

Butternut and tomatoes perk each other up no end, and roasted pumpkin seeds lend a surprisingly good crunch at the end.

Lannice’s dad called pasta ‘travelling food’ as it can be eaten anywhere you’re comfortable.


50g butter

1 small onion, very finely chopped

±500g skinned and  pipped butternut (or pumpkin) cut into small dice

2 ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped

leaves from 1 long sprig thyme

1 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock

sea salt, black pepper and sugar

250ml (1 cup) cream

500g tagliatelle

100g pumpkin seeds, roasted in a dry frying pan

  • Heat the butter in a large frying pan and fry the onion until golden. Add the butternut and stir it around for a couple of minutes until well coloured, slightly softened, and has absorbs all the delicious flavours of the oniony butter.
  • Add the tomato, thyme leaves and stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream and continue cooking for a few minutes more until the sauce thickens slightly and the butternut is tender. Check the flavour and adjust it if necessary with salt and pepper and sugar if necessary.
  • Just before serving, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Drain well in a colander, then tip into a warm bowl.

To Serve:

Heap the pasta into warm bowls, top with butternut pasta sauce and garnish with a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds.

Make Ahead:

Braised butternut pasta sauce reheats perfectly; keep it covered and refrigerated for up to two days.

Posh Tip:

Ribbon pastas – like tagliatelle, taglierini, pappardelle and fettucine – work best with creamy and pasta sauces like this one, so choose your favourite.

Posh Quaffing:

Chardonnay, billed as the ultimate food wine yet often too trenchant to play a supporting act, finally has its day. The butternut’s flavour is enhanced in the frying, and the pumpkin seeds by roasting, so a full (not over-wooded) chardonnay is a prime partner. Red wine adherents may find solace in a low-tannin ruby cabernet.

Serves 4 to 6

For a few more recipes from the book …click here.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.