Fall is on its way! Orecchiette with squash, chilies and hazelnuts

The question of the hour lately where I work is , “When is the pumpkin stuff coming in?”  I have to keep saying soon and that good things come to those who wait as there will be even more pumpkin products than last year. I am personally excited about a few myself.

Fall finally feels like it is on its way. While it a tad to early for the leaves to change and a to see a blanket of color everywhere here in New England, mums , gourds and squash are showing up in stores everywhere. While in the past, Fall use to feel like a time to speed up and I would sort of whiz though it in hopes to get to the snowy , lazy days of winter where I could hide without excuse under a blanket with a cup of warm tea, I am see Fall  and it’s colors signaling a time to slow down, take a breath, enjoy the cooler days and the sights and smells the season has to offer.

For me it also means seasonal menu changes.  I very much like to eat seasonally and feel if you do it helps to cleanse and detox the body. Like take for instance apples, very much in season right now where I live and perfect for detoxing the body from all the sweet fruits and foods of summer.

I am not going to claim the following recipe is in any way healthy for you or even going to detox you. Well, butternut squash does have a lot of fiber so I guess you can count it there. butternut squash has lots of vitamin A as well as it’s a heart healthy choice.

I found the following recipe in Bon Appetite Magazine. It was my day off work, a tad gray outside and I was cuddled up on the couch flipping through when I saw an article on making pasta. I’ve made my own pasta before but never Orecchiette pasta which looks like a lot of fun to make. I’ll admit though I didn’t make my own for this recipe. If you want to you can find out how here.

photo 1

I took a few short cuts. First off, I bought already cut and cubed butternut squash. I was making this on a night after work so wanted to make it a bit easier on myself. I used already made pasta and lastly, I bought roasted hazelnuts and skipped roasting them myself. The result was delish and I have to say I took some to work with me the next day and enjoyed it was just as good. I did grow the mint so I get points for that right?

I am posting the recipe as it came from the magazine but skip the first step if your like me, and taking a short cut and using roasted hazelnuts.

photo 2

Orecchiette with Squash, Chilies and Hazelnuts

From Bon Appetite Magazine.

Serves 4

What you need:

    • 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts (use already roasted to save time)
    • 12 ounces fresh orecchiette or other fresh or dried small pasta
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2″ pieces (about 2 cups)
    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, divided
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan plus more for serving
    • 4 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves, divided
    • Freshly ground pepper

What to do:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread out hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop; set aside. (skip this step if using already roasted nuts)
    2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (about 5 minutes for fresh pasta). Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
    3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, just until garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Immediately add 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to keep garlic from burning; reduce heat to low and gradually add butter, swirling skillet and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until a thick, glossy sauce forms.
    4. Add pasta to skillet with squash and sauce and toss to coat. Add lemon juice, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2 tablespoons mint, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper.
    5. Serve pasta topped with reserved hazelnuts, more Parmesan, and remaining 2 tablespoons mint.
    6. DO AHEAD: Hazelnuts can be toasted 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s