Monday, October 5, 2009

Squash Sauce: Rigatoni with Squash and Prawns

As I made my last tomato purchase of the year at the farmers' market last week, I also made my first butternut squash purchase. The squash were on the tiny side, so I actually got two. Butternut squash is a vegetable that many of us may have eaten early in life (in the form of baby food), but probably strayed away from into our childhood and adolesence. If you haven't had a butternut squash during your adult life, I'd encourage you to revisit it! It is naturally sweet, creamy, and very healthy. It can be challenging to deconstruct (you need a sharp knife and a strong arm), but during this time of the year and into winter, you can find it pre-cut in the produce section of grocery stores.

I most frequently use butternut squash in soups and as a side dish (I simply roast it with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper). This recipe actually turns the squash into a creamy sauce for pasta. It looks like mac 'n' cheese, but is so much better for you! I make this recipe with shrimp, but it would make a wonderful vegetarian entrée without the shrimp.

Rigatoni with Squash and Prawns
(From Giada's Kitchen)
* 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
* 1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
* 1 cup vegetable stock
* 1 pound rigatoni
* 1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
* 3/4 to 1 cup whole milk
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the prawns with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the prawns to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes.

In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened. Add the cooked prawns, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment