Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pappardelle with Butternut Squash and Sage

It officially feels like Fall has begun and visions of pumpkins and squash are running through my head.  I can almost taste the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clover... oh wait, those are the pumpkin cookies in the oven.

To kick off the this glorious season, how about a pasta featuring the butternut squash?  Its roasted and pureed with a hint of nutmeg and mixed with a browned butter.  oh wait, there is more...all this is topped with chopped sage and gorgonzola cheese.  One bite and you start thinking of the leaves changing colors and the pumpkin patches.  You can use any pasta but I had on hand some Sweet Potato Pappardelle that I had purchased earlier at the farmer's market.  A small serving goes a long way because it is so rich but well worth the effort.  

This is a must-try fall dish.

Pappardelle with Butternut Squash and Sage
recipe adapted from These Peas Are Hollow

1 lb. Pasta
1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3-4 medium-large shallots, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp. fresh, ground nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced sage
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled Gorgonzola and chopped parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the cubed squash and shallots with the olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and spread evenly on a silpat lined baking sheet. Roast on the middle rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour, flipping the squash a few times, until browned and starting to caramelize.

Transfer 1/2 of the squash and all of the shallots to a food processor, (set the remaining squash cubes aside) along with the heavy cream and nutmeg; pulse until you have a smooth paste. If needed, add additional hot water and process until sauce has thinned enough to be able to coat the pasta. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the fresh pasta for 4-5 minutes, or until just al dente.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook for a few minutes until just starting to brown. Add the sage and fry for about a minute, stirring, until butter has turned a amber brown, and sage is fragrant. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in the squash puree to combine with the browned butter.

When the pasta is cooked, transfer directly from water to the skillet with the squash sauce and toss to combine. If sauce seems very thick or clumpy, add pasta water by the 1/4 cupfuls until sauce has evenly coated the pasta. Toss in the reserved cubed butternut squash, transfer to individual serving bowls and top with a generous amount of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.


Bryan said...

Looks wonderful, I am so looking forward to Autumn cooking! I love the tastes and smell of this season.

Laura Diaz said...

This totally looks like the sweet potato noodles from Top Chef!

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