Peanut Butter and Purple Onions

Sounds crazy until you try it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Butternut Bonanza

My sundry and assorted magazine subscriptions are finally straggling in. I don't know why it takes so long for magazines to get with the program after I give them a new address, but anyway. So having been deprived for several months, I've been cutting out recipes with a frenzy over the last two weeks.

And since I needed a use for the handsome butternut squash I procured at the Greenmarket, this offering from Cooking Light looked perfect. I was a little apprehensive about browning butter, something I'd never done, but I really needn't have worried, since it was quite possibly the easiest step. (Grating a pound of squash, on the other hand? very. slow. going.)

I cannot begin to do justice to how achingly good this is -- the squash melts into a velvety sauce, the cheese adds just enough salty punch, and the browned butter with sage and pine nuts puts it over the top into perfection. I know I saw this posted on another food blog, but I cannot for the life of me find that blog again, so I'm posting the recipe as well. I'm already plotting when to make it again.

I didn't have quite enough Parmesan, so I made up the difference with pecorino romano. I also doubled the sage, because I love it dearly.

Pasta with Winter Squash and Pine Nuts

Adapted from Cooking Light

2 T. butter
2 T. pine nuts, toasted
2 T. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 c. water, divided
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
12 oz. penne
1 c. finely shredded Parmesan/pecorino romano, divided

Melt 2 T. butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, until lightly browned and foamy. Add pine nuts and sage and stir to coat. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat, add garlkic, and saute 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the squash and 1 c. water to the pan. Cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes for me, stirring occasionally. Add remaining water 1/2 c. at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of water is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper.

Cook pasta and drain, reserving 1/2 c. pasta water. Combine pasta and squash mixture in a large bowl. Add the reserved water, browned butter mixture, and 3/4 c. cheese, tossing to mix. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

Yields six servings in theory, four in our corner of reality.


  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger kitchenmage said…

    sage and there's one o my favorite combinations... :-)

  • At 12:08 PM, Blogger BNA said…

    Oooh, tell me more. I'm so ignorant about squash, since until recently I thought the only one I liked was pumpkin. Do you have other sage/squash combination recommendations?

  • At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Olivia said…

    This sounds fantastic! Thanks for posting. With your warning though, I'll have to break out the grater attachment for my Cuisinart - finally an excuse for owning that thing!

  • At 6:46 PM, Blogger BNA said…

    Good call, Olivia, and good to see you! I didn't have a processor at the time, but I did just happen to get one over the weekend (bright red!), so the next batch will hopefully go much faster.


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