06 November 2011

Roasted Harvest Veg + Sage Pesto Pasta

At this time of year, an ordinary basil pesto seems so inauthentic.  Enter Sage.  Think not of it as a Miss America runner-up to basil, no!  This pesto was delightfully warm and complex against the roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts freshly plucked from the stalk!  Do you find as much joy in the stalk-o-sprouts as I?  Well, even if you only share my enthusiasm for the easily-obtained winter veggies matched with sage pesto and gorgonzola, this is the recipe for you!  All bits and pieces of this recipe easily can be found at your local market and whipped up in 45 minutes, tops.  I’ve never seen Sam’s eyebrows raise as high as they did for this tasty little number!  We weren’t exactly sure what to do with the giant stalk, post sprout-removal action, so we offered it to our dog for investigation.  He was intrigued…but his carnivorous spirit left it untouched.  Finally, the most perfect beer pairing: La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado, a collaborative brew by Stone.  Hints of pumpkin, toasted fenugreek, birch bark and lemon verbena.  Makes you want to sing, right? 

Pasta with Sage-Walnut Pesto, Winter Squash and Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4-6, source: Eats Well With Others


1 medium winter squash, seeded and diced into bite-sized chunks

1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved

2T (or more, if needed) extra virgin olive oil

½ c sage

2 large garlic cloves

2T chopped walnuts

¼ c parmesan cheese

salt, to taste

½ lb pasta

4 oz gorgonzola, crumbles


- Heat oven to 450.  Arrange winter squash chunks and Brussels sprouts on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper (only one vegetable on each, since they have different cooking times).  Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.  Roast Brussels sprouts for 20-25 minutes and winter squash for 40 minutes or until tender.  Remove from oven and set aside.

- Set up a pot of salted water to boil.

- While the water is boiling, make the sage-walnut pesto.  Combine the olive oil, sage, garlic, walnuts, and parmesan cheese in a food processor.  Pulse until pureed, adding some water if necessary to loosen it up a bit.

- Cook the pasta until al dente and then strain, reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water.  In a large bowl, mix the pasta, Brussels sprouts, and winter squash.  Add the pesto and mix, adding reserved pasta sauce as necessary until thoroughly combined.  Taste for seasoning.

- Place pasta in four serving bowls and top each with crumbled gorgonzola.

Hey, Blondie! Pumpkin, chocolate + hazelnut blondies, that is!

‘Tis the season for pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!  I can’t seem to get enough squash at this time of year, as you’ll see in some upcoming posts.  This recipe, from Smitten Kitchen, was happened-upon while perusing Pinterest for something new to create from this seasonal, golden gourd.  As the initial blogger indicated, it lacked in being thoroughly present in pumpkin or chocolate spirit.  Never fear!  This is what leftover ganache, freshly ground nutmeg and chopped hazelnuts are for! If you don’t have any ganache on hand, melt some milk-chocolate morsels and drizzle those over the top.  Voilà!  A perfectly decadent fall treat!