Sunday, February 22, 2009

Penne with Butternut Squash, TMCH, p. 56

Butternut squash is one of my favorite winter vegetables. It's beautiful, flavorful, and healthful. Bittman's recipe for penne with a butternut squash sauce turned out to be absolutely incredible. Processing the butternut squash in the food processor rather than grating it by hand is a huge time saver. It also adds an additional bonus to the dish because the processed pieces are not all exactly the same size. So when cooked, because of the variation in size and shape from being processed rather than grated, they cook to different levels of doneness. The smaller pieces are cooked all the way down, yet the larger pieces are still al dente. I found this to be one of the best parts of the dish because you could really taste the squash and also enjoy different textures.

Instead of finishing the recipe with 1/2 cup of pasta water, I followed one of the "with minimal effort" suggestions and finished it with heavy cream. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of heavy cream, but I found that 1/4 cup was more than sufficient. The cream really helped boost the flavor and texture of the dish. We had the pasta with a nice arugula salad. The salad is dressed with a simple honey balsamic dressing (whisk together honey & balsamic vinegar, no oil is needed). The sweetness and tanginess of the dressing brought out the sweetness of the butternut squash. This was one of the most delicious dinners I have made in quite some time!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, boy!! This looks delicious. I have a butternut squash just sitting here...and a new disc stem for my food processor courtesy of KitchenAid--maybe I should give this a shot tonight!