Adjusting to the produce offerings of extended summer in North Carolina, (we’re enjoying heirloom tomatoes and peaches into October!), I found myself longing for a taste of autumn.
That’s when I spotted some hard shell squash at my Uptown bi-weekly farm stand.
A happy little striped cylinder caught my eye. “What kind of squash is this?” I asked.
Autumn Pasta in Italy
Hmmmm. My mental tastebuds flew to the memory of cloud-like tortelli di zucca that I had savored in Lombardy. A specialty of the city of Mantua, the stuffing combines pureed cooked pumpkin, ground amaretti cookies, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and mostarda di frutta (a combo of various fruits preserved in a spicy syrup flavored with essential mustard oil).
While the memory was willing to spend untold hours and effort tracking down specialty ingredients, making fresh egg pasta dough, mixing stuffing, and shaping dozens of tortelli, my immediate schedule was not so accommodating.
Glancing around the stall, I spotted Brussels sprouts and ruby red onions. Maybe a simpler sautéed autumn vegetable pasta would fill the bill.
It did. And here’s the recipe.
- One half of a delicata squash, seeds and pulp removed
- 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
- 1 red onion, peeled
- Canola or sunflower oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound [url href=”https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/organic-casarecce”]casarecce[/url] pasta
- Cut the squash in two lengthwise pieces. Cut into 1/8-inch thick slices; set aside.
- Cut Brussels sprouts into 1/8-inch slices.
- Cut onion in half from the root end to the stem end. Cut each half into two chunks. Cut into 1/8-inch slices.
- Place a large sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, drizzle it with oil. When the oil is hot, add the squash. Toss the squash and cover the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the squash starts to brown. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and a drizzle of oil to the pan. Toss and cover. Cook, tossing occasionally for about 5 minutes or until sprouts are wilted.
- Add the onions. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, cook for about 3 minutes or until onions are wilted. If pan bottom is becoming too brown, add a splash of broth or water.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper; remove from heat and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sage and butter. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until butter is bubbling and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the casarecce. Stir and return the water to a boil. Boil for 7 to 8 minutes or until done to your liking.
- Reserve 1 cup of cooking water. Drain the casarecce and transfer to the sauté pan. Toss with the vegetables. Drizzle on the sage and butter; toss. Allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes until flavors blend. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of reserved cooking water to loosen the casarecce if needed.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.