Barbara Lauterbach

Author of Four Cookbooks

The Splendid Spoonful - from Custard to Crème Brûlée

Fifty Favorite Recipes - Potato Salad

Fifty Favorite Recipes - Pasta Salad

Fifty Favorite Recipes - Chicken Salad

 

Orecchiette and Roasted Butternut Squash with Honey-Ginger Dressing

In New England, we take our winter squash very seriously. Its appearance at the local farm stands along with the brilliant foliage signals the arrival of the first frosty nights and is a portent of the long winter to come. I love the nutty, mellow flavor of butternut squash, which in this recipe is further enhanced by roasting. The natural sweetness becomes more intense as the juices carmelize in the cooking process. Little round pillows of orecciette are the ideal pasta to pair with the squash for this piquant side dish. If you cannot find orecciette, fiori (flower-shaped) pasta is an excellent substitute.  Serves 6

 

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 butternut squash, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. (see Note)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces orecchiette or fiori

1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped

Dressing

1/2 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Pink of paprika

Pinch of dry mustard

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Put the butter and the oil on a baking sheet and place in the oven. When the butternut-oil mixture is melted, add the squash chunks to the sheet and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, toss again to coat, and roast for 10 minutes. Stir the squash; it should be beginning to brown. Roast 10 minutes longer and stir again. When the squash is tender but not mushy, remove and set aside. Total cooking time should be about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package for al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse briefly under cold running water. Shake the colander gently to drain completely. Set aside.

To make the dressing, place the oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and add the sugar, pepper, paprika, and mustard. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved. Add the honey and ginger and whisk again.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl and add the roasted squash and the cranberries. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss gently but thoroughly, being careful not to mash the squash chunks. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Return to room temperature before serving.

Note: If time is an issue, butternut squash is available peeled and cubed in the produce section of many supermarkets.

Potato Salad Recipe Chicken Salad Recipe Pasta Salad Recipe Crème Brûlée Recipe Cooking in France

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