Bucatini with Butternut Squash Cream Sauce, Prosciutto and Sage

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This week was nothing short of nuts. First, I got a kidney infection. Then 14 cheeses arrived at my door. Both made my cry. As something of a cheese-fanatic, receiving cheese in the mail is somewhat of a dream. BelGioioso Cheese Inc. sent me a dreamy package containing 7 of their popular cheeses. I used their American Grana to make this bucatini dish, which is now featured on culture: the word on cheese’s website.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ of a yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup half and half or heavy cream
  • ½ cup BelGioioso American Grana, grated, plus more for sprinkling
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ¾ pound dry bucatini
  • 8 sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With the skin still on, loosely wrap the garlic loosely with foil and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Roast for 40 minutes until soft.

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and ½ tablespoon of butter over medium high heat in a sauté pan (I use a cast iron pan). Add sliced onions and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir frequently until the onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and stir occasionally until they turn a deep golden color and are caramelized, about another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the cubes of butternut squash in a glass 9×13 pan. Drizzle with 1/8 cup olive oil and toss to combine. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of both salt and pepper. Cook until fork tender, about 30 minutes.

Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Lay 8 slices of prosciutto on a foil-lined baking sheet. Crisp in the oven for about 15 minutes, flipping once. Set aside.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil.

For the sauce, squeeze the garlic out of their peels into a blender. Add half of the cooked squash and all of the caramelized onions. Then add chicken broth, cream, cheese and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add bucatini into the boiling water, cook until al dente. Drain. Return to pot and toss with sauce and reserved cubes of squash.

In the same pan you used to cook the onions, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, lay the sage leaves into the oil. Cook for about 30 seconds, flipping once. Cool on a paper towel.

To assemble, use tongs to move noodles to individual plates, letting excess sauce drip off back into the pot. Crumble the prosciutto over the noodles. Top with two sage leaves each. Sprinkle with extra grated American Grana and pepper. Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk

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My mom recently told me she had to perform the Heimlich maneuver 3 times when I was little. Apparently I was always putting more food in my mouth than it could hold. This is probably the first sign I was a foodie.

I make winter squash soup often this time of year. You can make it, savor it, freeze it, dress it up, whatever. I actually made a simpler batch, with fewer ingredients, a couple of weeks ago and froze it. I was feeling sort of lackluster about having to defrost it and eat a bowl of it for dinner until I happened upon a recipe from Orangette. It had a similar base, but with an addition of some delicious ingredients I already had on hand. It was scrumptious–the perfect combination of sweet, squashy, spicy and salty. The other great part about this recipe is that you can add more or less of any of the flavoring ingredients to cater it to your taste. Like to assault your taste buds with spice? Add more hot sauce. Like it mellow and sweet? Use half the spice and accentuate the maple syrup. Like that spike of asian salt? More fish sauce.

Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium or large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 or 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or other Asian chile sauce
  • Wedges of lime, for serving

Warm the oil in a 5-quart pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the onions until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder. Add the squash, coconut milk, broth, maple syrup, fish sauce, and Sriracha, and stir. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the soup until smooth. Taste the soup for flavor. You may want to add more fish sauce or a sprinkle of salt. If it’s too sweet, add more chile sauce. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a squeeze of lime.