Getting Back To The Basics

A place to show the changes in our yard, our garden, our home, and our life.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage

I was pondering what I should make for dinner while I surfed facebook aimlessly. I came across a scary clown guy's post with a tasty sounding recipe. So here you have it.

The sage is fresh from my garden. How's that for fresh?
Being that I live in Seattle, the lemon is obviously not from my garden.

Bacon? Yes please. The sage smelled wonderful.
I love butternut squash. What I don't like? Peeling it. PITA. 
Simmering in sagey bacony goodess.

I didn't have scallions on hand but my organic delivery box came with green onions. I used those instead. Plus more sage, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, as per the directions.

Add the chicken broth...

Garnished with the almonds and a little more Parmesan. Because I like it.

Seriously tasty meal that happens to be vegetarian with the added salad. Assuming you ignore the bacon, of course.

Ingredients -
  • 4 slices bacon, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 8 large fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon minced (see note)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 scallions, sliced thin (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound penne or other short, tubular pasta
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 4 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Directions -
  1. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add whole sage leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl, reserving bacon fat and bacon-sage mixture separately.
  2. Return skillet to high heat, add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat (adding olive oil if necessary) and heat until shimmering. Add squash in even layer and cook, without stirring, until beginning to caramelize, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add butter and allow to melt, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, nutmeg, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and minced sage; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer; continue to cook until squash is tender, 1 to 3 minutes longer.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, and transfer back to Dutch oven.
  4. Add squash mixture to pasta; stir in 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and reserved bacon-sage mixture, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta liquid. Serve, passing almonds and Parmesan separately.
The above recipe can be found here - I cannot take credit for it, of course.

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