Sunday, November 29, 2009

Butternut Squash Pasta

You can probably tell I tend to go on food kicks (like the great wheatberry kick of a few weeks ago which, frankly, you don't even know the full extent of because I still have wheatberry recipes in my backlog). Since its winter, the latest thing has been roasted butternut squash. There are a couple of reasons why this is so great: 1. you can eat it all kids of ways (soup, side dish, etc) 2. if you buy an actual squash, you can roast the seeds and its like a little mini batch of pumpkin seeds. and pumpkin seeds are awesome.

So, obviously, when I saw this recipe for Butternut Parmesan Pasta, how could I resist?

--1 butternut squash weighing about 1 pound OR a little bag of butternut squash cubes from Trader joes
--6 ounces of bow-tie pasta (I used whole wheat)
--2 t of olive oil (if no bacon)
--2 shallots, chopped
--1/3 cup of packed, freshly grated Parmesan cheese
--1/2 cup of chicken stock
--1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
--3 slices thick cut uncured apple bacon from Trader Joes (optional; without this, use olive oil)
--Salt and pepper to taste
--Water as needed to thin the sauce

0. boil pasta according to instructions
1. Separately, roast the butternut squash if you have time, if not and you're using the little bag, thoroughly cook in microwave according to instructions
2. chop the bacon, and brown. add chopped shallots, brown.
3. put in squash, mash up. add chicken stock, and thoroughly mix to thin a bit.
4. add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cheese. mix until smooth.
5. Divide pasta in two, top with squash mixture.

This is really good, its definitely comfort food and is a bit like grownup mac and cheese. I think though, that I'm going to backtrack to the original recipe a little more when I make it. The original involved heavy cream, which seemed a bit much and I replaced with broth. I think it needed that creaminess though- at least some milk. I'd also consider replacing the parm with a softer creamier cheese (someone in the comments to that original recipe suggested Gruyere). I also may have undercooked my squash, and in this scenario I think if anything you want to err on the side of overcooking since you want it to mash smoothly. At any rate, I'm totally trying this again!

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