Bucatini with Butternut Squash Cream Sauce, Prosciutto and Sage

IMG_3506

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.

Chanterelle Ravioli Filling

IMG_3410

There are perks to not having a job. Like having time to have your name taken off the mailing list of all your junk mail. And to play with dough all day. I’m at it again and trying to make homemade ravioli. I have a new respect for chefs in restaurants crafting hundreds of the pillowy dumplings for a night of service.

Someday I will master this art and write a post about it. Until then, I’m making some pretty wonderful and seasonal fillings. This takes advantage of fall’s bounty, with an emphasis of chanterelle mushrooms.

Towel courtesy of local Seattle company True Fabrications.
Towel courtesy of local Seattle company True Fabrications.

Makes about 3 cups of filling

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quartered and stemmed cremini mushrooms (4-5 mushrooms)
  • 1 cup quartered chanterelle mushrooms (Include stems)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 egg yolk (Reserve the egg white for sealing ravioli)
  • 1/3 cup salty cheese like Parmesan
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add both kinds of mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Add parsley and garlic. Cook for one minute. Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pulse parmesan in a food processor until it looks like bread crumbs. Add mushrooms, egg yolk, nutmeg and ricotta. Pulse until combined. Taste for salt and pepper.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Check out my other ravioli here.

Roasted-garlic pumpkin bisque with herb potato dumplings

Image

This bisque is perfection.  The roasted garlic adds a wholeness of earthy flavor in this creamy and luscious soup.  It is smooth and flavorful on its own, but the herb potato dumplings pack a punch of herbs and texture for those who aren’t satisfied with the simple pumpkin base.

The dumplings and are plump and soft.  They melt in your mouth releasing the flavor of the herbs to add flavor to the soup.  This recipe was a bit time intensive, but completely worth it; I had leftovers for days.

This recipe is from a book featuring restaurants in the Northwest, The Northwest Best Places Cookbook.  This recipe in particular is from Inn at Ludlow Bay in Port Ludlow, Washington.  Because not all pumpkins are for eating, look for a cooking pumpkin in your produce section.  If you can’t find one, Hubbard or acorn squash make good substitues.

Makes 4-6 servings:

For the soup:

  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh pumpkin, peeled and seeded
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons packs brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream for serving

For the dumplings:

  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, thyme, and oregano
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (more if needed)

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Discard the loose skin from the garlic head and wrap it in a piece of foil.  Roast the garlic in the oven until tender, about 30 minutes.  At the same time, bake the potatoes for the dumplings until tender, about 50 minutes.

    While the garlic and potatoes are baking, cut the pumpkin into large chunks and put it in a large pot with the chicken stock and onion.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

    IMG_1919

    Unwrap the garlic and let cool slightly, then peel the individual cloves.  Lightly mash the garlic with a fork in a small bowl (you should have about two tablespoons); set aside.

    Working in batches, puree the pumpkin mixture in a food processor or blender and return it to the pot.  If you have a hand blender, you can blend it in the pot.  Stir in the cream, roasted garlic, brown sugar, and nutmeg, with salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm over very low heat while making the dumplings.

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

    Halve the baked potatoes and peel away all the brown skin.  Mash the potatoes.  Stir in the egg yolks and herbs, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir in the flour, a little at a time, until a firm dough is formed.

    IMG_2582

    Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a cylinder about 3/4 inch in diameter.  Cut the cylinder into 1-inch slices to form the dumplings.  Cook the dumplings in batches in the boiling water untl they are tender and float to the surface, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Scoop out wiht a slotted spoon and drain well.

    IMG_2581

    To serve, ladle the pumpkin bisque into individual bowls and add the potato dumplings to the center of each bowl.  Plop a small spoon of creme fraiche or sour cream over the soup and serve.

    IMG_2583