Adam Liaw's rigatoni with pumpkin cream, rosemary and bacon

Adam Liaw
Rigatoni with pumpkin cream, rosemary and bacon.
Rigatoni with pumpkin cream, rosemary and bacon. Photo: William Meppem

The natural sweetness of pumpkin and cream meets the savoury saltiness of bacon in this easy pasta sauce.


½ butternut pumpkin

500g dried rigatoni

2 tbsp olive oil

200g speck or thick-cut bacon, cut into batons/lardons

½ onion, finely minced

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 sprig rosemary

½ cup white wine

200ml thickened cream

black pepper, to season

freshly grated parmesan, to serve


1. Heat your oven to 180C (200C conventional). Place the pumpkin on a roasting tray and roast for 90 minutes (there's no need to season it or add oil). Scoop out and discard the seeds, then scoop out the flesh, leaving the skin behind.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and the rigatoni. Start checking the pasta 2 minutes before the end of the time indicated on the packet directions. 

3. Heat a very large frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and speck or bacon and fry for about 4 minutes until lightly browned and the fat is rendered. Remove the speck/bacon, add the onion to the fat and fry for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and fry until the onion and garlic are fragrant and just starting to brown. Add the rosemary and white wine and bring to a simmer. Add the pumpkin and cream and break the pumpkin up a little with a wooden spoon. Simmer for a minute or two until the mixture starts to thicken. 

4. As soon as the rigatoni is al dente, strain it and reserve about ½ a cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and cooked speck or bacon to the pumpkin cream sauce together with ¼-½ cup of the pasta water, tossing to create a creamy sauce that coats the pasta. Serve with plenty of black pepper and a grating of parmesan.

Also try Adam Liaw's sticky pumpkin pudding