Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hello fall.

Although the high this week is about 82 degrees, I am still excited about fall recipes. Butternut squash and goat cheese pasta, courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis, truly took our breath away.
It is fall in the House of Clarbaugh.

Ingredients (6 servings):
·     Vegetable oil cooking spray
·     1 (2-pound) butternut or kombucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
·     1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
·     Olive oil, for drizzling
·     Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
·     1 pound penne pasta
·     1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
·     1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted *see note
·     1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
·     1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
·     chopped asparagus
Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve. 
This pic really doesn't do this dish justice. Served with some fresh asparagus and a chilled Honey Brown Ale.
*To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using.
This entree is a fantastic hearty vegetarian meal, give it a try!

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