Falling for Autumn and Pumpkins October 13 2017
As the crimson and golden leaves jump from their branches and the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove dance in the brisk autumn air, fall into the season with a bowl of delicious, nutty, roasted pumpkin pasta. There is something so simplistic, yet decadently warming about roasted pumpkin, and paired with pasta, garlic, olive oil, and toasted walnuts, you are sure to have a quintessential fall dish.
I, as I'm sure many of you do, love everything about the fall season. From the taste of all things pumpkin spice, to hot apple cider, to oversized sweaters, to the smell of toasted nuts and vanilla, there is something so internally warming about this time of the year. I vividly remember my childhood home being flooded with the scents of baked apples, cinnamon, and caramel -- a symphony of scents that I try to replicate every autumn.
As I sit here sipping a hot toddy -- the weather in New York is finally getting cool enough to do so -- I am reminded of the impending fall season, and the nostalgic memories of pumpkin picking, pie baking, and jack-o-lantern carving that it evokes. So, if you feel inclined, mix yourself a lovely hot toddy using BeeLocal honey, and jump into the fall season with the beautiful pumpkin pasta mentioned above. I hope you enjoy!
1/2lb (half package) Semolina Artisanal Pasta's Strozzapreti Pasta
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup spinach, packed
½ teaspoon chili flakes, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest, more or less to taste
Juice of half the zested lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Toss butternut squash with 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper, and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until tender and caramelized, roughly 40 to 50 minutes
-Bring large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, but stop cooking a minute or two before al dente, as the pasta will finish cooking in the sauté pan with the remaining ingredients
-In a large sauté pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add minced garlic and chili flakes, careful not to burn the garlic
-Mash 1/5 of the roasted butternut squash with a fork, then add both mashed and cubed butternut squash to the sauté pan with the garlic and chili flakes
-Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water, and add to sauté pan. Add cooking liquid to thin sauce as needed
-Add spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
-Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lemon zest to taste
-Garnish with chopped walnuts and dried cranberries