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.