Introducing a new feature here on BiRL: How-Tuesday! There are lots of things I like to do, cooking, crafting, repurposing, speaking, being awesome, and I thought I’d share the skills I’ve honed over my twenty-eight years of life with you. Now I doubt I will post a tutorial every Tuesday, but when I do it will be a How-Tuesday! Because I like the name, and I’m cool like that.
I had next to nothing in my cupboard and a husband at a board meeting, so no palates to satisfy but my own. But trust me, A will die for these leftovers! Out of my own little brain, I bring you a delicious fall recipe that is super simple, can be made in the time it takes to boil pasta, and only 6 ingredients (if you count salt and pepper as a freebie): Acorn Squash Linguine.
Squash is one of our favorite cold weather foods, and acorn squash is one the most versatile. Roast it, cube it, bake it, stuff it, or simply steam it and mash with butter. It’s a hearty veg that is very good for you, yet feels silky and indulgent. It has a sweet, slightly nutty flavor we love it on the side with roasted pork loin or roasted with a chile-lime vinaigrette. For the best flavor, choose a squash that feels heavy for its size.
(Note: A came home while I was writing and tried the leftovers. His reaction? “Ommmmh! Wow! Baby, this is the best pasta you’ve ever made. It’s better than that one with mascarpone that I love. This makes me happy.” And let me tell you, folks, I make a LOT of pasta. So now I’m happy, and very confidant that I’m bringing you a recipe the whole family will love.)
1 lb. linguine
1 large acorn squash
1 cup turkey or chicken stock (or 1 cup water and bullion – I won’t judge!)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
a dash of ground nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for the table
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
chopped, fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and linguine and cook until al dente.
While the water is coming to a boil, cut the stem-end off of the squash and cut the squash in half from stem to point. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff and discard. Place the squash in a microwave safe dish and cover with a plate. Microwave for fifteen minutes, or until flesh is tender. When squash is done, remove from the microwave and set aside.
Melt butter in a large pan over mid-high heat. Scoop out the flesh of the squash, avoiding the stringy membrane that lies along the inside ridges of the skin, and add it to the pan. Add stock to squash and bring to a slow boil. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that the Pecorino Romano is salty. Mash the squash until the sauce is fairly smooth, or use an immersion blender to make it super-smooth and silky. Keep a slow boil for about five minutes until sauce is thick, and flavors are melded.
Drain pasta, reserving a coffee mug-full of the starchy pasta water. Add pasta to the squash sauce and toss until coated, adding the Pecorino Romano as you toss. Add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is a little thick, or if you like your pasta looser. Sprinkle with parsley (if using) and serve with extra cheese.
I paired this with a glass of chilled Cupcake Chardonnay($9.99 at Whole Foods) and it was fabulous. If you make it, I’d love to know what you think. Happy eating!