Thursday, October 23, 2008

This One Is Not About Football Or Hockey

It's not about politics, either. Although I am quite enjoying the press and public criticizing the GOP for endorsing anti-intellectualism. It only took them 30 years to notice! I mean, when Michelle Bachmann can call for a McCarthyite investigation of Congressional members who might be anti-American one week and by the next week her opponent has been given $300,000 in donations and the national Republican campaign has pulled their support from her race, maybe common sense is making a spirited comeback in America.

But that's for later. This is a recipe post, something we haven't done in quite a while. Sorry if you've been eating canned tuna and microwaveable Uncle Ben's this whole time.

So I got a pasta maker for my birthday. Rather, an attachment to our stand maker that rolls pasta. And since making pasta only consists of 2 cups of flour, 3 eggs and some kneading, we've been making a decent amount of pasta lately. Abby just loves rolling out the pasta with her poppa doo and eating the raw dough. And I've been bombing out some sausage, chard and ricotta raviolis that would make your grandma well up about the old country.

Anyway, we're moving into fall, which means less grilling and more roasting and braising. I mean, I can still grill since it was 90 out here today, but you Eastern establishment elitists will be putting on scarves and then braising and roasting.

Despite the heat, I've been doing some fall roasts because they're perfect for football Sundays. I can do a little prep work, drop something into the oven, watch an hour of football, do a little more work, watch another hour or two of football and by halftime of the night game, we're grubbing.

This past weekend, I combined fall's inspiration for roasting with the pasta maker and blew the doors off dinner with a butternut squash and sage fettucine. Oh. Damn. The effort to deliciousness ratio for this one is off the charts. Like 1:10,000. If you don't try to make this one, you have only yourself to blame.

First, get a butternut squash, peel it and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seedy goop and if somebody that you dislike is in your house, throw the goop in their hair. Ten showers won't be able to wash it out. If nobody like that is around, just throw it out and then chop the squash into bite-sized chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 420 for about an hour. Set aside.

If you're making your own pasta, kudos on your integrity. Start it now. If you're opening a box of the dried, that's fine too. Put the water on. Let's just assume you're using dried pasta since I care more than you do and it'll take about 8 minutes to cook and not the 1 minute it takes to cook fresh pasta. Perfect.

While the pasta is cooking, melt 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. We're trying to make brown butter here, so just let it sit. When the butter starts turning brown and smelling nice and nutty, add 1.5 tablespoons of chopped sage. The fresh kind. Stir it around, then take tongs and scoop the cooked pasta straight into your pan. Don't be worried about dripping some of the pasta water in there. That's actually a good thing. Toss in your roasted squash, a little bit of pepper and a touch of salt, mix it all up so the butter coats everything and then get it into a serving dish.

Using a vegetable peeler and a wedge of parmesan, shave parmesan on top of the pasta and serve. Listen, I didn't invent anything with this dish, but it is so good that you won't even believe it. Crisp air, sweet squash, fresh sage, red wine. Man. You are living, friends.

So that's a recipe for you before we get to football talk tomorrow. Don't be afraid, give it a whirl and let me know how it turns out. As for our next recipe post, I have an idea kicking around in my head that I haven't made yet. I'll just say this. Caprese was invented as a tribute to the Italian flag. Red, white and green. Tomato, mozzarella and basil. Well, my idea is to make a Mexican caprese. Same flag colors, different ingredients. After the next taco party, I'll let you know it how went. Arriba!

1 comment:

John said...

Great stuff, have to try it. I found using the Pasta n' More saves me so much time in the kitchen. I found it at www.harrietcarter.com