Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Means a Great Combination for Presto Pasta

I've been dreaming about making this pasta dish for weeks.  The butternut squash has been giving me that look from the counter for what seems like forever.  You know the look..."Well...are you actually going to use me or am I just going to turn to stone on this counter?!" look.  Somehow, though, life got in the way until yesterday.

Usually when roasting squash, I just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, season with a little salt and pepper and roast cut side down at 400°F/200°C, but this time I made it more like this recipe...  ... without the brown sugar or butter...just tossed with a little fresh thyme leaves, olive oil and a few grindings of freshly ground black peppercorns and at 375°F/180°C for about 20-30 minutes...until the little cubes were tender and caramelized .   I actually roasted them as a side dish to go with the brisket I found in the bottom of my freezer, but naturally there was plenty left over.  

Much as I love squash, I usually find it too sweet too eat too much at one time.. a little goes a long way and I want something spicy or at least savoury to go with it.    But what combination?.... I kept thinking about the cured churiso sausages in my fridge and the woody cremini mushrooms, more thyme to continue the earthiness.   And the dish was born.   While the fusilli (they were too cute to ignore at the grocery store) was boiling away, I sauteed a chopped onion, sliced mushrooms and chorizo slices for about five minutes, added the squash and a splash of apple cider vinegar from my favorite Boates Farm in the Annapolis Valley, where much of my Saturday farmers market finds come from, tied it all together.   

Probably the craziest thing about making this dish... beyond the dreaming about it for days before I actually put it together... was that while I was tossing it all up... before the actual eating even... I was already planning the leftover dish.... frittata?  add some homemade chicken broth and make a fantastic soup?  is there enough for both?

Your thoughts?  And don't forget to share your pasta dish with Presto Pasta Night.  This week, Simona of Briciole is hosting for the fourth time!  Please Send your entries to simosite (at) mac (dot) com and cc ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com


Joanne said...

It's proclivity for sweet-and-salty dishes is EXACTLY why I love squash so much! This sounds especially delicious...I'll be making it with my favorite soy chorizo!

Ruth Daniels said...

Is there really such a thing as soy chorizo? Wow! The world of vegetarians certainly has evolved.

Simona said...

My ears also perked up in reading soy chorizo: interesting. I love butternut squash especially cubed and roasted: I could eat a whole pan of it. Interestingly enough, I never made pasta with it. i can imagine you dreaming about it: it happens to me to, to be haunted by the image of a dish. By the way, I keep my winter squashes in cold storage in the garage, so I get impatient looks less often. Thanks for having me host Presto Pasta Nights: it's always a great pleasure and lots of fun.

Caribbean Culinary Tours & Vacations said...

Just found your blog and love your pasta dishes, My daughter is a pasta lover so I am always trying new pasta dishes for her. I specialize in Caribbean cooking however I will be trying a few of your dishes. Thanks for sharing