Thursday, December 10, 2009

Butternut Squash and Red Bell Pepper Pasta

Its no secret that I am a huge fan of the squash family. As we hit the Atlanta Farmers' Market every other weekend, I can't wait to get to that aisle. I guess one of the biggest reason I love squashes is that they're so versatile. They can be used in soups, koftas, purees, koottus, saambaars, sauces and pies among many others. Heck, people even make pastas out of them!

N, on the other hand is not a big fan of the family. She cares about squashes as much as I care about Hugh Grant and chick flicks. She that they're vapid and slimy. She thinks that every squash tastes the same. I retort by saying that she is confusing squashes with Hugh Grant's movies ;) I guess I'm entering dangerous territory now so I'd better stop!

No big story here...we typically experiment with pastas. We tried this on a whim and it turned out pretty good.


Ingredients (serves 3-4):

1 large (or 2 medium) large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 large red bell peppers, cubed
1/3 c parmesan cheese
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 lb spaghetti, cooked al dente as per instructions
salt, to taste
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp sage (I used dry, crushed sage)

1. Heat oven to 400F. Take the olive oil in a small bowl and place it in the middle rack while its preheating.

2. When the oil is hot enough (the viscosity goes down quite a bit), immediately pour it on the squash and red bell pepper cubes, placed in separate bowls. I use this trick often to use less oil to coat the veggies. Add the salt, paprika and the sage and toss the veggies.

4. Get started with the pasta.

3. Put the butternut squash cubes on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with aluminum foil/parchment paper) on the middle rack. Cook until fork tender, about 10 mins. Broil lightly until the top starts to brown. Take out the squash and put it back in its bowl.

4. Roast the red bell peppers next until nicely roasted. Remove from the oven.

5. Heat some butter in a pan and toss the pasta right after you drain it. Add the red pepper flakes. If there is any oil/spice remaining in the bowls used for tossing the veggies, take some of the pasta from the pan and roll it into the bowls. Never waste fats!

6. Toss in the roasted veggies.

7. Parm the pasta, i.e toss the pasta with Parmesan cheese. If Google can be a verb, then say hello to Parm!

7. What are you waiting for, dig in!


This is a dry pasta but simple and flavorful. We thought that the squash and the red bell pepper went really well with each other. The sage worked well with the squash and the paprika and the red pepper flakes were a nice contrast to the inherently sweet squash and the red bell peppers.

Enough chutzpah...but I do recommend it ;) Its tasteful and not too unctuous...take that, Hugh Grant!


Arch said...

I like the 'parming' bit ! Interesting way of using oil over veggies...Ok, dumb question, but what is butternut squash in the Indian context ?

PJ said...

This is a fantastic in-season recipe! Love the trick with heating the oil.. thats a keeper! It is very unique to combine roasted butternut squash with spaghetti, I am a squash-lover and will be sure to try this soon.

SJ said...

A, pls don't make this when we come. I hate squashes. I love Hugh Grant.

aquadaze said...

I love bell peppers and add them regularly in my pasta. I like squash but pairing it with bell peppers and pasta...hmmm, this sounds like a very unique combo!
And I love Hugh Grant.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Yum! I loves noodles! Great idea to top them with squash and peppers.

Bong Mom said...

I am like N, ditto Hugh Grant, ditto squash :)

But the Pasta does look beautiful :)

Laavanya said...

I love roasted veggies and this combination sounds delectable.

Soma said...

Me like it lots:-) Me like squash and grant .. both.

Cham said...

I am like N- no way other than kootu!

Usha said...

Interesting term " parm the pasta" LOL ! Love how this pasta sounds...

bee said...

shame on people who can brag about visiting the farmer's market in winter. shame shame shame on people who thus mock their northern neighbours.

bee said...

and hugh grant (or anyone who cheats on liz hurley) is a blooming idiot.

evolvingtastes said...

Great combination, can't wait to try it! Nice trick about heating the oil to reduce viscosity too. Got to try that too.

delhibelle said...

Though this looks lovely, I share N's sentiment on squash, and yours on Grant.

DEESHA said...

I love squash & I experiment a lot with pastas too .. never combined pasta with squash though

A_and_N said...

@ Arch: No clue :) I guess the yellow pumpkins come the closest.

@ OJ: Thanks! Let us know how it turns out.

@ SJ: I'm not sure if I want you guys here anymore :P

@ Aquadaze: Why? Why? Why????

@ Natashya: Thanks!

@ BongMom: I can certainly respect your choices, even though I don't agree wiht them ;) Thanks.

@ Laavanya: It is pretty good, thanks!

@ Cham: N hates koottus, I LOVE 'em :)

@ Usha: Just trying to be funny, that is all ;)

@ Bee: Assuming you'll be spending a true, white Christmas up north, I LOVE snow! I could kill for some skiing right about now ;) And as far as Hugh Grant goes, very true...but again that is just the tip of the iceberg as to why he's an idiot :)

@ evolvingtastes: thanks! let us know if is any good.

@ delhibelle: as long as you can share my sentiments on Hugh Grant, I'll let you off the hook as far as squash goes :P

@ Deesha: Well, in case you do, give this a try :)

SJ said...

Gasp! A naavu ticket cancel madthivi. Squash thinalla antha neevu namanna barbedi antha helbitri...thumba mosa aithu edhu.

Free Samples said...

wow, it looks very delicious! good work!

RV said...

I have never ventured in to that aisle so far but I guess squash should taste good with this kind of roasting. Love your thought 'Never waste fats!!' ;-)

Arch said...

ok, last night i made your gajar matar and rotis and baked that wonderful orange was sooooo good..thanks a ton for sharing these wonderful recipes...

Cakelaw said...

LOL - you are clearly Hugh's number one fan - not. This looks delicious.

eda said...