Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Winter Squash and Sage Pasta

Two weeks ago, I was visiting one  of my favorite farm stands at the West Sacramento Farmer's Market, Moon River Farm. The farmer, Sara, was selling some beautiful, smooth-skinned butternut squashes. It was a hot August day and I thought it seemed a bit early for me to be making squash, which seems so autumn-y. After all, tomato season seems to last through September in Sacramento. But the squashes were so lovely, and the farmer, Sara, told me that it would keep on the counter for several weeks.

Sure enough, my squash was still in good shape today when I got around to chopping it up. I've been wanting to try a certain winter squash recipe ever since I read The Quarter Acre Farm by Spring Warren, who lives about 30 minutes away from me in Davis, CA.  The dish is a deconstructed version of butternut squash raviolis, only much simpler. For my take on it, I attempted to make it healthier, too, by cutting back the butter and cheese and using whole wheat, organic noodles. To add more flavor, I roasted my squash extra long, until the edges were brown and the squash was decidedly caramelized. The end result of my experimentation still felt indulgent and was totally delicious.

And can I just say-  roasted, caramelized butternut squash, where have you been all my life?! Oh... probably sitting on the shelf because I was too intimidated to cut you up and too lazy to prepare you.  I'm just glad that I've found you now, especially with fall and winter coming up. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


 

Winter Squash and Sage Pasta

4-6 cups any winter squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1-2 cups sage leaves
8 oz. whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
1/2-1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cube butter
2 T. brown sugar or honey
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cubes of squash into a bowl. Drizzle squash with olive oil and sugar or honey. Stir until the moisture from the squash and the other ingredients form a thick juice to envelope each squash cube.

Pour the squash onto a lipped cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, spreading the squash into a single layer. Place in oven and roast until squash is tender on the inside and browned on the outside, about 40 minutes. Put squash on the counter to cool slightly.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, adding your sage leaves. Allow the butter to barely bubble and cook the sage leaves until crispy, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta as the directions indicate. When the pasta is cooked and drained, place it in a large bowl. Add your butter/sage and a large handful of Parmesan. Toss together. Place the squash over the top of the pasta (to avoid having it gravitate to the bottom of the bowl). Serve with a green salad if desired. Mangia!


2 comments:

  1. That sounds so good! I love butternut squash (hated it as a kid, but gosh dang if it isn't so tasty now). I'll have to try this with my gluten free noodles!

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  2. The Winter Squash and Sage Pasta looks delicious!

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