Butternut butternut butternut.
It’s a funny word, isn’t it? If I wasn’t such a mature and refined person, I would even giggle at it’s rather naughty components. However, I am a lady, and ladies don’t behave in such an infantile manner. (Tee hee hee hee hee. Okay, I feel better now).
So back to the, eh hem, butternut. As squashes go, you just can’t get any better than the butternut. It’s rich, creamy, and tastes as naughty as it sounds. Cubed and roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, it makes a wicked side to a roast or chicken dish, julienned and baked, it makes for a sweeter (and more nutritionally sound) replacement for your standard french fry. It’s marvelous in soups and stews, a lovely addition to baked goods, and can even be utilized at breakfast time if baked, pureed, and mixed into your morning oats with a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon.
Last night, I was craving a hearty pasta minus the hearty calorie count inevitable in your standard cream sauce. And so I turned to the lovely butternut squash I picked up at Trader Joe’s for just a couple of bucks last week. I raided my pantry and fridge, and decided that a handful of spices, salty cheese, and some toasted pine nuts were all I needed to create a simple, tasty, and budget-friendly fall dish. Top to bottom, the whole thing took me less than an hour to prepare, and most of that time was spent sitting around, perusing a magazine and watching a Gilmore Girls re-run while my lovely butternut (hee hee) was roasting in the oven. Now that’s what I call a superstar squash. So, what are you waiting for? Get your butternut in the kitchen and get cooking!
Butter Parm Pine Fettucine
1 butternut squash
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. all spice
1/2 cup light soy milk (I used Silk)
1/2 cup water
8 ounces whole grain fettucine noodles (8 ounces)
1/2 cup shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and string with a spoon and discard. Drizzle inside of butternut squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash halves face-down on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until outside skin is lightly browned and inside flesh is soft. While squash is cooking, warm a small pan on the stove over medium heat. Place pine nuts in pan and toast until nuts are lightly browned. Remove nuts from heat and set aside. When squash is ready, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before handling. Scoop inside flesh from squash and place in a food processor. Add spices and puree for 1 minute, or until smooth. Stream milk and water through nozzle attachment, using stir setting until well combined. Transfer mixture to a medium pot and place on stovetop at medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Cover pot as mixture will bubble. Stir often. While sauce is heating, cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and plate noodles. Top with 1/2 cup heated butternut squash sauce, 1/8 cup cheese, and 1 tbsp. pine nuts. Enjoy.