Well Dined

6Feb/130

Fall Pasta Dishes

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I've been playing with combining squash and pasta for comforting Fall/Winter dishes.  Like last weeks White Lasagna or the Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells from the beginning of the month.  And now I have a few more, starting with this Butternut Squash and Leek Pasta Sauce.

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This is simple and delicious - pureed squash, leeks, garlic, butter, sage, and Parmesan form a rich and creamy sauce to perfectly coat spaghetti.

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Next up is Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese with Amaretti Crumbles.

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Roasted pumpkin combined with noodles, cheesy bechamel, and sage.

SAM_2908'Then topped with delicious almond cookies and baked.  Yum!  So comforting in cold weather.

Butternut Squash and Leek Pasta Sauce
adapted from Skinny Taste
serves 4

1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 tbsp butter
8 oz spaghetti of your choice (I tried out quinoa pasta)
1 large leek (white part only)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh shaved parmesan cheese
4 sage leaves, sliced thin
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add butternut squash and cook until soft.  Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth.

Add pasta to the boiling water (same pot) and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile - in a large saute pan, melt the butter, sauté the leeks and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 5 - 6 minutes.  Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water to thin out to your liking.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and sage and mix in pasta until well coated.

Serve with additional Parmesan cheese on the side.

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese with Amaretti Crumbles
adapted from Closet Kitchen
serves 6
*Note - pumpkin turns out to be super hard to peel/cut up.  So microwave it until it is soft enough to cut into.  Or just use butternut squash.

1 pound of pumpkin/squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb pasta, your choice
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sage, thinly sliced
4 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups cheese, shredded - I used Mozzarella and Parmesan (Fontina or Gruyere would be good, too)
1/2 cup amaretti cookies, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Toss the pumpkin with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender, about 30-40 minutes and set aside.

Cook the pasta as directed.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat add the sage and cook until the butter is bubbling and it has turned golden brown.  Mix in the flour and let simmer until it returns to a light golden brown.  Add the milk a little at a time until simmering, thick, and smooth.  Add the nutmeg, mustard and cheese and simmer until it thickens and the cheese has melted.  Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the pumpkin, pasta, and cheese sauce and pour into a baking dish topping it with the amaretti cookie crumbs.  Bake until golden brown on the top and bubbling on the sides, about 30-40 minutes.

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