Saturday, January 12, 2013

Butternut Squash Pasta

This is my take on a recipe from Mario Batali that I watched him make on Good Morning America a couple of years ago. It was simple sauce of butternut squash with red onion. This is the perfect time of year for something to celebrate the wonderful taste of this delicious vegetable without too much trouble.

Red onion meets the butternut squash

It pays to have a good quality peeler to handle the squash preparation

Cutting the raw squash into cubes - a Chinese cleaver is up to the task

Slicing the red onion

Mise en place

Red garlic still left from the summer's harvest

A little more mise for the place

Sauteing the onion and garlic

Now with the squash cubes added

Just about ready for the pasta

Finally with the orecchiette 

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 large red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound orecchiette
kosher salt

Place a large skillet over medium heat. When hot add the sliced garlic and cook until almost brown. Add the onion slices and cook until translucent. Add the cubed squash and mix into the onion and oil. This dish takes a while as you want to caramelize the squash and onion over time but not burn them. If you keep an eye on them and stir regularly they should be good in about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare a large pot with salted water to bring to a boil in which to cook the pasta about a minute short of what is recommended on the box. Just before it's done scoop about a cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside.
When the pasta is done, drain then add to the skillet to finish cooking with the squash and onion, adding a little of the saved pasta water to coalesce the flavors. The squash should be really soft kind of falling apart as that is what makes it a good dressing for the pasta.

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