I would like to apologize in advance for the craptastic pictures that will be coming your way soon. I tried my best to take photos of everything going on with our dinner; but by the time it was ready to sit down for dinner all I wanted to do was EAT. So you get my orangey, low-light pics of the final product!
Anyway, this pasta was delicious! I am not usually one for sweet tastes in my main meal, but the copious amount of butter, onions and herbs really made gave the pasta many levels of flavor.
Krista and I opted out of making fresh pasta like the recipe called for since we were making so many other things at the same time, so we bought some fresh lasagna noodles and cut them into wide ribbons. We also conquered another one of our fears (well, maybe just my fear), peeling a butternut squash:
Makes 4-6 servings
9 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 kabocha or butternut squash, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons finely diced shallots
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 pound fresh pasta sheets, cut into 2-inch squares
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter. Add the squash in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until browned underneath, about 6 minutes. Stir the squash and cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes more. Add the sugar, broth, salt and pepper, cover and cook until the squash is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the squash is dark brown and glazed, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the squash mixture to a bowl.
In the same pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 6 Tbs. butter until light brown spots appear, about 2 minutes. Add the shallots, nutmeg and sage and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the squash.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the squash mixture and toss to combine.
Transfer the pasta to a warmed large, shallow bowl and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Serve immediately and pass the remaining cheese alongside.