Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pasta with butternut squash and apples

This recipe is all mine. I had some butternut squash and felt like pasta but decided to try putting together something a little more exciting than the usual squash and sage. I was reminded of the barefoot contessa's wonderful butternut squash and apple soup and decided that if it works in soup it may well also work in pasta.

So here is the result - a slightly sweet, delicious and somewhat different pasta sauce.

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Apples

Ingredients (for 2 generous portions): 

- 1 lbs (500 grams) peeled butternut squash (you can start with a 1.5 pound squash, or buy already peeled squash). 
- 2 medium granny smith apples
- 5-6 leaves of fresh sage, chopped 
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- seasoning: salt, pepper, chili powder
- freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 pound (250 grams) dried pasta

1. Dice the squash and the apple into small cubes. Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Put a large pot of water on the boil for the pasta. 

2. In a large oven-safe skillet melt the butter on medium heat. Add the squash, apples and sage and season well with salt and pepper. When the Squash and apples begin to cook and "sweat", add the maple syrup and stir. 

3. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the squash is tender but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. 

4. Take the skillet out of the oven (careful! the handle will likely be hot!) and put back on medium-low heat. Cook the pasta according to instructions until it is al-dente. Meanwhile, check the seasoning on the sauce. Add a little bit of chili powder and if the sauce is too sweet also add a bit more salt and pepper. If the sauce feels a little too dry for your taste, add a little bit of vegetable stock or some of the pasta cooking water.

5. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss (tongs are helpful for this) until the squash and apples are evenly distributed throughout the pasta. Top with plenty of grated Parmesan.

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