Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pappardelle with Roasted Winter Squash, Arugula and Pecans

There's so many blogs right now that are full of "cooking from the pantry" challenges.  I try to cook from the pantry as often as I can and just fill in with fresh fruits and vegetables as needed.  So in the spirit of cooking from the pantry I took a look around and found  I had a package of DeCecco Pappardelle pasta in the cupboard.  I got online to look up a recipe and came across this one from Cooking Light.  As luck would have it (and because our house is weird) - I happened to have both a butternut squash and some arugula.  I didn't have pine nuts - they are so expensive I tend to buy precisely what I need for a recipe and no more.  I did have pecans though so that's what I substituted - I also substituted dry sage for the fresh.

I actually doubled the recipe - not because the two of us can eat that much - but because my butternut squash yielded exactly 8 cups diced which was exactly twice what the recipe called for.  Same with the pasta.  I'd much rather have leftovers than half a squash and an opened package of pasta.  I'd read the reviews and noted that several people had commented that it was rather dry - I reserved more of the cooking water than they'd called for and still found it to be too dry and at the end tossed it with a bit of olive oil which helped immensely.  I'd rather eat a little less and have it taste great than soldier on with a dry pasta dish.

Pappardelle with Roasted Winter Squash, Arugula and Pecans
based on recipe from Cooking Light

  • 4  cups  (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 2  tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 8  ounces  uncooked pappardelle (wide ribbon pasta) or fettuccine
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 2  tablespoons  pine nuts
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh sage
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2  cups  trimmed arugula
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) grated fresh Asiago cheese
  • 1/2  teaspoon  coarsely ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475°.
Combine squash, vinegar, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Arrange squash mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
While squash bakes, cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon cooking liquid.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts, sage, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or just until the pine nuts begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Place pasta, reserved cooking liquid, pine nut mixture, and squash mixture in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, arugula, cheese, and black pepper; toss gently to combine. If dry, toss with additional olive oil Serve immediately.


Lynn said...

Gorgeous food pics! Looks like a great dinner.

I buy big bags of pine nuts at Costco and keep them in the freezer to keep them from getting rancid

JGH said...

Shame on me for not eating lunch. This looks so yummy.

A friend of mine was just telling me that I should splurge on DeCecco when I buy pasta. After all, she said, it's not like wine where you have to put down big bucks to get a difference in quality. It's only a couple of bucks more expensive and head and shoulders above the rest.

Guinnah said...

MommyPorch - I buy the big bags of walnuts at Costco but haven't done that with pine nuts...I guess I haven't made enough pine-nut intensive recipes :-)

JGH - I usually get DeCecco when they have it on special at the Grocery Outlet - they often carry interesting shapes or different grains. This 1.1 lb box only cost me $1.49 (the local store has the 8.8 oz box for $3.99!) It is really good pasta :-)