They're, like, totally informative.
But, I really want you to know what you're getting yourself into when you see the titles of these dishes.
This is easy, and incredibly delicious. The fall flavor of the squash, nuts, and sage.....ohmygoodness it's just so good.
Are you into the frying of the sage leaves? If you haven't tried it yet, TRUST me. You end up with crunchy, earthy sage AND browned butter all at once - two things that I find incredibly hard to beat.
Also, this is a vegetarian dish but is still so decadent because of all the fun flavors we have going on. This is perfect for a weeknight, but can easily be a quasi-fancy weekend offering if you have guests!
Or if you just want to eat something quasi-fancy on the weekend.
Here's what you need for 4 servings plus leftovers:
- 4 servings short-cut pasta
- 1 small butternut squash (1 - 2 pounds)
- cooking spray
- salt and pepper
- crushed red pepper
- ½ cup pecans
- 2 oz goat cheese
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup sage leaves
- 4 tablespoons butter
In order to make this fast, we're going to use three pans: one for roasting the squash, one for boiling the pasta, and one for the pecans, sage, and garlic/wine sauce. Ok? Sweet.
Nice. First, let's get the butternut squash going! Preheat the oven to 425F, then cut off the top and bottom ends of the squash. Then, cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
Then, use a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife to carefully peel the squash. SOMEONE PLEASE TAKE ME TO GET A MANICURE.
Then cut it into small cubes - ¾ inch or so.
Place the squash on a baking sheet, and spray well with cooking spray. Sprinkle it lightly with salt and pepper, too.
Now, roast the squash for 20 - 30 minutes until it's dark around the edges - shake it every 10 minutes or so so that all sides get a little crispy!
While the squash is roasting, heat a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta - cook it as directed when the water boils, and reserve 1 cup of pasta water right before you drain it.
See this lovely goat cheese? It's so soft and will be hard to crumble. So, while you're making the sauce for the pasta, stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so! We'll use it right before we serve.
Now, in the "sauce" pan, let's toast the pecans. Place them in the dry pan, and turn the heat to medium-high. Let the pecans toast for 3 minutes or so until they're fragrant and lightly browned.
Then, remove them from the pan and roughly chop them. Leave the pan on, but turn the heat down to medium, or medium-low if your stove gets really hot.
Now, it's time to crisp the sage leaves and brown the butter! Take the sage leaves off the stems, if they have any.
Then, add half the butter and the sage leaves to the pan, and swirl everything around to heat up for 2 minutes. Watch the sage leaves - they should crisp in about 3 minutes.
They'll turn dark brown around the edges and start to curl. The butter should turn brown at this time as well. Stir every minute or so to prevent the butter from browning too quickly, and turn the heat down if you need to!
While the sage is cooking, peel and thinly slice the garlic.
When the sage leaves are cooked, remove them to a paper towel or small bowl to cool - they'll get even more crispy as they dry out!
I stuck the sage leaves with the pecans so they'd be ready when the pasta was. Add the second half of the butter to the pan, and swirl it to combine with the sage butter.
When the butter is all melted and JUST beginning to turn brown, add the garlic slices with some salt and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Then, turn the heat up slightly and add the wine.
Now, at this point we want the pasta to be cooked and drained and the squash to be cooked through and fork tender. If it isn't, turn the heat off the garlic mixture and let it sit.
If the pasta and squash are cooked, we're almost done! Put the pasta back in the pot and add the squash, pecans, and sage. Them, pour the butter/garlic/wine sauce all over the pasta - look how nice and dark it is!
Stir the pasta all together, and taste to see if you'd like to add any salt or crushed red pepper for flavor - I like doing this right at the end. If the pasta is dry, add a bit of the cooking water, as well. When it looks perfect, transfer it to a large serving bowl (or just serve from the pot!)
Now, remember the frozen goat cheese? Get it out, and use a fork to make lots of crumbles right on top of the pasta.
And that's it! There are several components to this dish, but they're all SO worth it. The butter/garlic sauce comes together in just minutes, so once you cook the squash, pasta, and sage you're pretty much done!
I served this with an arugula herb salad, and WHOA, was this a great vegetarian meal.
Make this soon to celebrate fall!