Monday, January 31

Weather Wars

butternut squash pasta

My dad is a competitive person, especially when it comes to the weather in wintertime. He'll call me from Rhode Island and say, "What's the weather like in San Diego?"

I tell him what I always tell him: "Oh, it's the same. Sunny and 70s."

Then, invariably, he'll say something along the lines of, "Yeah, it's was beautiful today in Rhode Island too. It was 44 degrees. It was so warm I had to take my jacket off."

Poor guy. Doesn't he know he just can't win the weather war? Search "best weather in the world," and San Diego always makes the list, along with other celestial destinations such as The Canary Islands and Cabos San Lucas.

Consider this: In January 2011 Rhode Island earned the dubious distinction of "3rd Snowiest January in History." Their weather forecast today is "High of 25. Low of 11." San Diego's forecast today is "High of 64. Low of 49." Rhode Island is expecting snow on Tuesday and "ice pellets" on Wednesday. San Diego is expecting sunny skies and high 60s.

But he's my dad, and I feel bad. So I'm posting today's recipe for Butternut Squash Fettucine with him in mind. Sweet, roasted butternut squash, earthy sage and salty Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese get whipped into a creamy sauce that clings unabashedly to thick fettucine. It's the kind of dish that fills your belly and warms your body.

I can't make it warm in RI this week, but I hope this pasta fortifies him against those ice pellets on Wednesday.

Butternut Squash Fettucine
Makes 4 servings
Printable recipe.

1 medium butternut squash, about 1 1/2-2 pounds or about 4-5 cups cooked
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus some oil for brushing the squash before roasting
1 tablespoon butter
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup whole milk or half n' half
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage, or more if you really like sage
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for garnish
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoons salt
8 ounces fettucine or other thick pasta noodles

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and discard. Brush the flesh with a little olive oil. Roast for 35-45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool for 10 minutes before scooping out the flesh. Discard the skins. Mash and stir the squash with a spoon.

2. In a large pot over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter. Add the shallot and saute about 5 minutes until browned and softened. Add the cooked squash and milk and stir well. Bring to a slight boil. Then lower the heat and add remaining ingredients through salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes, until sauce thickens.

3. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente or firm. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup or so of the hot pasta water. Add the pasta to the squash mixture, stirring until well coated. In small increments, add hot pasta water to thin the sauce, until desired consistency is reached. Heat through about 2-3 minutes. Taste it and adjust seasonings as desired. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Serve hot.

You might also enjoy these body-warming squash recipes:
Butternut Squash Risotto with Saffron recipe from My Baking Addiction
Butternut Squash and Bacon Risotto recipe from My Guilty Kitchen
Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce recipe from Simply Recipes
Butternut Squash and Crab Bisque recipe from gimme some oven
Acorn Squash and Sage Brown Butter Spaghetti recipe from Dianasaur Recipes
Roasted Butternut Squash, Turkey, and Apple Pizza with Blue Cheese recipe from Food Blogga
Butternut Squash Risotto with Rosemary, Walnuts and Blue Cheese recipe from Food Blogga


kay said...

I live in Minnesota where it's currently snowing. I bet you don't see that very often in San Diego! I'll be making this pasta this week since I have three butternut squash sitting in my cellar. It looks devine!

Joanne said...

I think I need to be fortified with this also. It's been desperately snowy here in NYC. Butternut squash, give me strength.

Susie Bee on Maui said...

Beautiful photo and the recipe sounds great. We have the same weather discussions with our family and friends on the east coast..."it's sunny and warm again today here on Maui".

Anonymous said...

What's a cellar???

Roxan said...

Looks good! I have a butternut squash that I bought last week and need to use before it goes bad. This pasta looks delicious!

I live in LA but i think that SD has better weather overall. I have noticed that it is a bit more humid than LA though :)

michelle morcos smith said...

hi susan. i got a kuri squash in my csa last week. i had not seen one before, can i substitute it for the butternut squash here? i am constantly having the weather conversation with my ri parents as well...although we've not discussed it in about two weeks. too depressing for them i'm guessing...

Liz the Chef said...

I make a butternut squash risotto but your recipe sounds easier and equally tasty - thanks!

Cookin' Canuck said...

This looks like the perfect dish for a chilly winter's day (in Rhode Island or elsewhere). The temperature is going to drop drastically here tomorrow. I could use some San Diego weather right now.

The Food Librarian said...

What a cute post! I tell my friends in WDC about the weather all the time. :)

Cookie and Kate said...

could this recipe have come at a better time?! no, i think not! i'm about to be snowed in and i just happen to have all of these ingredients. YES!

Johanna GGG said...

try living in scotland and talking to your mum in Australia - the Aussie winters were warmer than most summer scottish days :-) but I think butternut squash can be great in hot or cold weather - will keep this in mind for a summer's day with a nice salad

Anonymous said...

I think you got your figures wrong. I went out this morning to fill the bird feeders and the temperature was in the 80's the sun so strong I had to put sunglasses on.

Love dad

Holly Keegan said...

How do you make such great stuff that you can't eat? Your husband must be one happy taste tester. :)

The Teacher Cooks said...

I have a butternut squash in my pantry just waiting for a good recipe and this sounds like the one. Wish we had your weather. It is raining cats and dogs here.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

kay-Minnesota? You may be snowed in for days! Glad you like it.

joanne-I can understand how people there are starting to feel desperate.

susie-Thanks so much! Maui? Dang. No one can beat that. ;)

roxan-They're both pretty fabulous weather cities. :)

michelle-Sure you could. Go for it! As for your parents, I completely understand.

liz-It is easy! Hope you like it!

cookin canuck-It is delicious no matter how cold or warm it is!

foodlibrarian-Yeah, you've got weather bragging rights too. ;)

cookand kate-Yes! :)

johanna-Oh, yeah, that's a no-winner for sure. Stay warm! :)

dad-Haha! Good one, old man! :)

holly-He's a good guy, so I don't mind. I had mine on polenta.

teachercooks-Stay dry!

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I'm right here in RI with your Dad. Ice this pm. Wonderful! You're right, we would never win the weather war with you!

Sarah said...

Hey :) I just made this and it was really yummy... but! I halved the recipe, except the pasta, and still had way too much sauce. I ended up using 12 oz of pasta with the half recipe - and it still ended up with a good thick coating.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

lisa-I saw some pics on the news. It's nasty. Stay safe and warm!

sarah-Maybe your squash was bigger? Hmm... don't know what else it could be. But I guess extra sauce isn't such a bad thing. ;)

féenoménale said...

pasta ! your dishes seems very delicious, i take your recipe

Diane D said...

This is hands down one of my favorite dishes. I've made it many times and at this time of year it is my go to dish for cold weather. I love the smell of the squash cooking in the oven. The sage and peppers give it a wonderful flavor.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

diane-Aren't you sweet to let me know that. Thank you so much, my dear!