09 February 2010

Butternut Squash and Fried Sage Penne

almost exactly this recipe

This recipe helped me get rid of a few of things that I was worrying were getting really old (a squash, a red onion). The original recipe only called for 8oz of pasta (boxes are usually 16oz). After cutting up the squash, I thought half a box of pasta would not be enough so I used more, and increased everything else too. Look at the picture! Squash to pasta ratio did not need to increase! I liked this a lot, except for the pasta. I used Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta (not the Barilla Plus, which was a dollar more per box) and didn't really like that much. That's the only thing I'd change. The flavors are good, as is. They are simple, but go together so well!

I had a bottle of Dogfish Head Punk beer with it. That was a good match. I know it's kind of past pumpkin beer time, but I love DFH beer and I found a 4 pack of this at Whole Foods, so I had to buy it!

16 oz penne (or other similarly sized pasta)
3 Tbsp olive oil
12 whole sage leaves
1 medium to large red onion, sliced thin
4 (or more) cloves of garlic, minced
2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
3/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper)
grated parmesan for garnishing (or not, if you're vegan)

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions. When draining, rinse with cold water so it doesn't get sticky. Return to pot (if the pot is huge!) or a large mixing bowl.
2. In the largest skillet/wok you have, heat oil over medium heat.
3. Fry sage leaves until crispy, about 1 minute on each side. Remove to paper towel. Step out of the kitchen and then back in so you can really appreciate the smell of the fried sage.
4. Add onions and garlic to the skillet and fry until soft, stirring pretty much constantly.
5. Once soft, add squash, water, salt and pepper to skillet and stir to mix.
6. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until squash is soft, stirring occasionally. The recipe says this will only take 5-7 minutes. It took me more like 20 or 25. Possibly because a) I cut the squash pieces too big and/or b) I didn't adequately cover the skillet for the first 10 minutes. I didn't have a lid for the skillet and so I used the two largest I had, overlapping... until! I realized that I could just use the second largest skillet I had as a lid. Ta-da!
7. Once soft (test by tasting! om nom nom!), pour the squash mixture into the pasta and mix until pasta is fully coated. Add a little more water if necessary (I didn't need more water).
8. Garnish with the fried sage (whole leaves for presentation, or crushed up leaves for a more dispersed flavor) and parmesan cheese (unless you're a vegan).

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