As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, The Husband and I are part of a CSA this year. Now that the weather’s cooler and we’re officially into the best season of the year [helloooo fall! beautiful trees - cold fresh air - tights + boots!] we’ve seen the effects of the weather changes creep into our weekly pick-up. No longer are we getting piles of summer squash and cherry tomatoes. Instead we’re opening our box on Sunday and finding garnet-skinned sweet potatoes and leafy green kale.
We’ve also been getting a fair number of pumpkins and squash with each box. In addition to three sweet pie pumpkins [which I'm saving to decorate our front porch with and then roast the seeds] we’ve also got half a dozen delicata squash piled up on our counter top and a few patty-pans in the fridge.
It wasn’t until the three butternuts kept tumping over into my countertop work space that I was finally inspired to cook them up. I’m usually a fan of roasting root veg and it’s my go-to way of serving them up. This time, however, I wanted to do something a bit different.
I peeled, diced and roasted the butternuts but pureed half with some vegetable stock to make a perfect pasta-coating sauce. Topped with the warmed crispy chunks of butternut, dried cranberries and nutty parmesan cheese? A bowl of comfort food at its finest!
PS: For paleo-minded folks like we are [about 90% of the time] this is a great go-to base for a paleo-friendly way to roast all sorts of veggies this fall and winter. The occasional sweet potato, parsnips, carrots, squash + pumpkin of all varieties..maybe even turnips?
Prep Time : 15 minutes Cook/Bake Time : 45 minutes Yield : 4 servings
for the squash:
3 medium butternut squash, peeled + diced into large bite-size pieces [mine totaled 4.25 lbs before peeling + dicing]
4 large cloves garlic, smashed + minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP coconut oil, melted
for the pasta:
16 oz. uncooked pasta [a wide, thick noodle would be great for this dish]
1/4 cup vegetable stock
2 TBSP butter [unsalted or salted - either work fine]
1/2 cup dried cranberries + extra for topping
4 TBSP sliced almonds + extra for topping
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + extra for topping
1. Preheat oven to 450 F or broil on low.
2. Toss peeled + diced butternut squash [about an 8 cup yield] with melted coconut oil, garlic, salt, chipotle and cumin in a large bowl.
3. Spread between two cookie sheets. Bake/broil for 20-30 minutes, rotating sheets about halfway through.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta water is heating and the pasta is cooking, continue with the following steps.
5. Set aside half of the roasted squash. Place the other half in a blender base with vegetable stock, or in a medium bowl to use with an immersion blender. Blend until completely smooth. [if using regular blender, set puree aside in a medium bowl.]
6. Heat butter in a large skillet. Once melted add and sautee diced squash pieces with cranberries, almonds and parmesan cheese. Cook until squash is crispy and parmesan cheese is browned and melted.
7. Once pasta is cooked, drain, setting aside 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Toss pasta with pasta water and 2 1/2 cups squash puree. Plate. [you may not use your entire puree - depends on how much your squashes yielded once pureed.]
8. Top individual plates with 1/4 of the diced squash, cranberry, almond and parmesan mixture. Garnish with extra cranberries, almond slices and parmesan cheese if desired. Serve and enjoy!