Pappardelle with Butternut Squash & Sage
Thick ribbons of pappardelle with butternut squash in a super light tomato-cream sauce with fresh sage, topped with walnuts and Parrano cheese made a substantial dish perfect for the beginning of fall and cooler weather. I love the cheerful look of this dish with the bright orange squash and the rich green sage.
For the sauce, I used a combination of vegetable stock, half & half, vermouth, and red pasta sauce and it was absolutely wonderful - not heavy at all, but full of flavor. It complimented the squash nicely without covering up its own fresh taste.
The cheese, Parrano, is a Dutch cheese that tastes like an Italian cheese. It has the smooth texture of Gouda, but tastes nutty, salty, and rather like Parmesan. Try this on gratins - it melts well.
While you have to be careful using fresh sage due to its strong astringent taste, I wish I had used more in this recipe. It's minty and sharp woodsy taste really made this dish special.
Pappardelle with Butternut Squash and Sage:
8 oz Pappardelle
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups butternut squash in 1/2" -1" pieces,
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1-2 tbsp vermouth
1-2 tbsp half & half
1/3 cup red pasta sauce
5 large sage leaves, chopped
walnut pieces to top
grated Parrano to top
Steam the squash until it's almost cooked through, but still retains a little crunch.
Cook the Pappardelle per instructions - do not overcook.
While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a skillet and add the onion. Cook over med heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the squash, along with the vegetable broth and cook gently for 4 minutes. Add the vermouth, half & half, and pasta sauce and stir well. Add most of the sage, saving some to top the dish. Add the cooked pasta and season to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes then serve topped with walnut pieces, grated Parrano, and reserved sage.