This week’s featured Acorn Squash and Sage Rotini recipe comes from Chef Michael Hunter, owner and chef at Antler Kitchen and Bar, who recently released a new cookbook, The Hunter Chef Cookbook: Hunt, Fish, and Forage in Over 100 Recipes. He uses Barilla pasta in this recipe because it is non-GMO and features two simple ingredients – semolina flour (which comes from durum wheat) and water.
Acorn Squash and Sage Rotini
– 1 cup Barilla Rotini
– 1 small acorn squash
– 1/2 cup butter
– 1/2 cup 35% cream
– 3 sprigs of sage, chopped
– 1/4 cup walnuts
– 1/4 cup dry white wine
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 small shallot
– 1 small chunk of parmesan for grating
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– Salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste
1. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Season with salt and black pepper and roast in the oven skin side up at 425F for 30-40 minutes or until soft.
2. Chop the garlic and shallot and sauté in a small pot in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
3. Deglaze with the white wine and reduce for 1 minute to cook off the alcohol. Add the cream and bring to a simmer and turn off.
4. Scoop out one of the squash halves and add to the pot with the cream. Blend with a small stick (immersion) blender or transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
5. Scoop out the second squash half into a small bowl break up into bite size pieces keep warm and reserve.
6. Heat a frying pan on medium high and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the walnuts and toast for 2-3 minutes stirring every 15 seconds. Remove from the heat.
7. Add the maple syrup and toss to coat the nuts. Cool slightly before chopping and set aside.
8. Bring a large pot of water to boil seasoned with salt. Cook the Barilla pasta until al dente following the cooking directions on the box. Strain the pasta and transfer to a large frying pan.
9. Add the warm acorn squash puree and toss to coat. Grate some fresh parmesan into the pan and add a few pinches of chopped sage and toss to combine.
10. Divide the pasta into two large bowls. Shave more parmesan on top with a microplane or vegetable peeler, and the chopped maple walnuts and a pinch of sage. An optional garnish of fried sage leaves is a nice touch as well.