Archive for April, 2016

April 20, 2016

Creamy Butternut Squash Linguini with Fried Sage

IMG_6690Good to be blogging again! The Little Dictator is almost 6 months old and while I’ve been back in the kitchen for awhile now, I really haven’t found the time to write down and take pictures of the hodge-podge dinners I’ve been making…

This sucker took me almost an hour. Mainly because I had to make everything in batches with my tiny skillet and tiny bullet blender in my tiny kitchen. (OK, huge by New York standards but I’m still a Texan by heart and by habit.)

Adapted from this wonderful recipe on cookieandkate. And by adapted, I mean mostly copied. It’s good stuff! Didn’t need changes.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 pound butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and/or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable/chicken broth (I used a little less)
  • 12 ounces whole grain linguine or fettuccine
  • OPTIONAL: shaved Parmesan, BACON…side of spinach…

INSTRUCTIONS

 

  • Heat oil in 12 inch skillet or large dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the sage and toss to coat. Let the sage get crispy before transferring it to a small bowl. Sprinkle it lightly with sea salt and set the bowl aside.
  • Add squash, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is soft and liquid is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
  • Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from heat and let it cool slightly. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender. Reserve the skillet. Purée the mixture until smooth (beware of hot steam escaping from the top of the blender), then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Combine pasta, squash purée and ¼ cup cooking liquid in reserved skillet and cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Serve pasta topped with fried sage, more black pepper and shaved Parmesan/Pecorino and/or smoked salt, (BACON?) if desired.

NOTES:

  • In hindsight, spinach linguini makes for some ugly presentation. For some reason I still think spinach pasta is healthier. Probably not true.
  • Save a few whole leaves of sage and fry it up for a nice garnish
  • Add chopped fried bacon after blending! (I like bacon. Can you tell?)
  • Onion and garlic can be chopped roughly. You’re blending it, so doesn’t matter. Squash is chopped evenly to promote even cooking.
  • Set aside broth/liquid before blending so you can tweak the final consistency of the sauce.  I liked my sauce thicker. Didn’t add pasta water, didn’t even use all 2 cups of broth.

Unfortunately, after all this work, I forgot to savor my meal and wolfed it down in five minutes. As most parents, I now have a habit of eating as fast as I can, even when the small human is asleep for the night. Le Sigh.

More pictures! Curtesy of RChang while I cleaned up the mess I made in the kitchen. He kept calling over to me “I don’t know… still looks like Jabba the Hutt to me..”

IMG_6691

So I added some embellishments. IMG_6692

EDIT: 2/1/17 Tried this again but with a toddler running around these days, I had to find ways to cut down my cooking time. I added onions, whole garlic cloves, and cubed squash into a roasting pan and roasted on 425F for 20m or so. Tossed it all in a food processor and thinned it out with chicken stock. So much easier. And the caramelization from roasting adds a sweetness and depth that the original version didn’t have. Yay for lazy cooks!

Advertisements