Sage and blue cheese bring out the natural sweetness of pumpkin or butternut squash in this hearty vegetarian pasta.
Rach likes to serve this with her Roasted Sausages and Grapes.
- ¾ cup peeled hazelnuts, coarsely chopped, or ½ cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, trimmed and cut into ½-inch dice (if using a big squash, you probably only need the neck; reserve bulb to roast for another meal)
- Salt and pepper
- About 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pound gemelli or mezze rigatoni or penne rigate
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 20-24 leaves fresh sage
- 6 ounces gorgonzola or gorgonzola dolce
- ½ cup finely chopped chives
Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.
Toast nuts in 350˚F oven or skillet over medium heat until fragrant and golden.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, add pumpkin or squash and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, lightly brown 5 minutes, add shallots and garlic, and cook 2-3 minutes more, then lower heat.
Add salt to boiling water and add pasta, cook 7-8 minutes, about 2 minutes less than package directions.
In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter and when it foams, add the sage leaves and cook to crisp and butter is brown. Remove the leaves to paper towels and turn off heat under the butter.
Reserve ½ - ¾ cup pasta water and drain pasta. Add pasta to pumpkin or squash with cheese and toss to melt the cheese, then add the brown butter, half the nuts, and pasta water and toss. Adjust salt and pepper and transfer to shallow bowls, then top with crispy sage leaves and remaining nuts and the chives.