Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quinoa Pasta with Caramelized Squash and Fresh Herbs

We're pretty much bringing up the rear of the winter season, especially in terms of winter squash.  But as you may (or may not know) I'm kicking in my heels to hold on as long as possible.  This is one more squash recipe I had to make before it was too late. Am I glad I did... this is just one superb dish that I have to share.

See the original recipe here.

For me it's the combination of flavors that really gets me.  The caramelized sweet with the texture of the squash mixed with the savory of the sauteed onions (and garlic since I added it) and sage over pasta just makes this a huge hit.  YUM!

Unfortunately though, I was unable to talk my husband into trying this one.  He missed out big time; this is great.  You won't be sorry!



  • 9 Tbs. unsalted butter 

  • 1 kabocha or butternut squash, 2 1/2 to 3 lb., peeled, seeded and cut into
    1-inch dice 

  • 2 Tbs. sugar 

  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth 

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

  • 3 Tbs. finely diced shallots 

  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 

  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh sage 

  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice 

  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 

  • 1 lb. fresh pasta sheets, cut into 2-inch squares (see related recipe at left) 

  • 1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated


    In a braiser over medium-high heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter. Add the squash in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until browned underneath, about 6 minutes. Stir the squash and cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes more. Add the sugar, broth, salt and pepper, cover and cook until the squash is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the squash is dark brown and glazed, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the squash mixture to a bowl.

    In the same pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 6 Tbs. butter until light brown spots appear, about 2 minutes. Add the shallots, nutmeg and sage and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the squash.
    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the squash mixture and toss to combine.

    Transfer the pasta to a warmed large, shallow bowl and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Serve immediately and pass the remaining cheese alongside. Serves 4 to 6.


    I didn't have fresh parsely so I used the dried stuff.  And I forgot the lemon juice.  Although frankly, I'm not sure I'd use it going forward. This dish is perfect without it.

    So good!

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