Orecchiette w/ Squash, Mint & Hazelnuts
I guess it's definitely fall because I am seeing a ton of squash at the markets......butternut is my favorite.
This is a nice combination of flavors.
The toasted hazelnuts go nicely with the brightness of lemon and mint, and the butternut squash makes a creamy and rich sauce.
The perfect, easy fall dinner.
Not much else to say, except enjoy.
Orecchiette with Squash, Mint, and Hazelnuts: (adapted from Bon Appetit)
8 oz. fresh orecchiette (little ears), half the box
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups of butternut squash, cut into 1/2" dice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, divided
3 tbsp butter
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan plus more for serving
1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted
handful torn fresh mint leaves, divided
freshly ground black pepper
Toast the hazelnuts in toaster oven, being careful they don't burn (about 2 minutes). Remove the skins by rubbing a dish towel over the nuts. The skins will come off easily. Chop and set aside.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (about 5 minutes for fresh pasta). Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, just until garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes.
Immediately add 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid to keep garlic from burning and the squash from sticking to the pan; reduce heat to low and gradually add butter, swirling skillet and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until a thick, glossy sauce forms (about 8 minutes total).
Add cooked pasta to skillet with squash and sauce and toss to coat. Add lemon juice, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2 Tbsp. mint, some chopped nuts and remaining red pepper flakes and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper.
Serve pasta topped with reserved chopped hazelnuts, more Parmesan, and remaining 2 Tbsp. fresh mint.