RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM OUR CULINARY INSTRUCTOR GAIL BLAKELY
This week’s recipe features pasta with a delicious butternut squash sauce– that you can make in just 10 minutes! This is such a simple sauce for pasta that it is almost elegant. Keep this “back pocket pasta” recipe for when you want to impress someone (else) or comfort yourself (or someone else). It’s the perfect comfort food for cold winter nights!
10-Minute Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta
from Gourmet 2006
- FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA SAUCE:
- 1 lb (about) peeled butternut squash pieces
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or a small bundle
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- freshly grated nutmeg, optional
- FOR SERVING:
- 2 oz (1 cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional
- 1 lb penne rigate or rotini or whatever pasta shape you like
- Heat butter or olive oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat
- Add chopped sage and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
- Add cubed squash, diced onion, 1.5 cups water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
- Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until squash is very tender and water has reduced considerably, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the squash pieces.
- If you wish, stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- If you have an emersion blender, purée mixture right in pot. If you don’t, transfer mixture to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Taste sauce. Add more salt if necessary. Add a grating of fresh nutmeg if you wish.
- The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thin, simmer over low heat until it thickens.
- While squash mixture simmers, cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water with a large pinch of kosher salt until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.
- Place pasta in a serving bowl. Toss with enough butternut-sage sauce to coat nicely. If necessary, add a little bit of the reserved cooking water to thin it out.
- Serve pasta with cheese.
If you have extra sauce, store it in the fridge for a later date. The sauce thickens as it sits, so on subsequent uses, it will most likely be necessary to use the reserved cooking liquid to thin out.