Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash with Pasta

Winter squash and roasted garlic are a sweet and savory match made in heaven. Here they are combined in a full main dish. If you are using small heads of garlic from your garden or the farmers market (the type with only 4 or 5 cloves), you may want to use more than the amount called for.

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1-2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1-1 ½ tsp salt
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tsp dried sage, or 1-2 Tbsp minced fresh sage
1 lb dried pasta (rotini, shells, or the like)
1 cup walnut pieces (optional)
1-1/2 cups minced Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400˚.

Place the squash, onion, and garlic in a roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over them and mix well. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and sage and toss to insure that everything is well coated.

Roast the squash mixture for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Stir once or twice while it cooks.

While the squash mixture is cooking, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. At the same time, if using the walnuts, toast them in a toaster oven (on a tray) or in a dry skillet until they start to brown and become aromatic.

When everything is cooked, toss the squash mixture together with the pasta in a large bowl. Sir in the Parmesan and, if using, the toasted walnut pieces. Serve hot.

Serves 4-6.

Variation: Substitute 3 cups cooked barley for the pasta.

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