That name is a mouthful, right?? I didn’t know what else to call it!!
I scored this recipe from the Nella Pasta counter a few weeks ago at the amazing new shopping experience that is Boston Public Market. [[ Brief aside — if you haven’t been to the BPM yet, you need to go. Especially if you are into artisan, small-batch food experiences. There is underground parking that is validated for $1 and there are incredible restaurants that sell their creations there, too! We made quite an afternoon of it. Definitely worth it!! ]]
Some of the vendors hand out recipes that you can make at home, utilizing their ingredients. My boyfriend bought some of their fresh pasta to create his own meal, but I snagged this with the hope that I could use regular pasta and savor some of the last tastes of autumn.
This recipe was very grown up for me (this is my second time cooking with squash — check out the first time here) and I like all of the textures and depth of flavor. I added some chicken because my boyfriend MUST have meat with dinner 🙂 There were some other tweaks, too, that made the recipe more my own!
But seriously…. There is the sweetness & creaminess from the butternut squash, the crunch from the walnuts, the earthiness from the sage, the tang from the white wine, the bitterness of the radicchio and the peppery flavor of the arugula. There was so much going on all at once it was hard to pinpoint exactly what was happening…but I knew there was a major cooking victory happening at dinner 🙂
I am in serious debt to Nella Pasta for gifting me with this recipe and I hope that they can see this post!!
Butternut Squash Orecchiette with Greens and Sage Brown Butter
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 c. walnuts
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 5 oz. mixed greens (I used spinach, arugula, and radicchio in a prepared package from Wegmans)
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 12 fresh sage leaves, minced
~ In a medium roasting pan, toss the cubes of butternut squash with 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cook the cubes for about 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven, tossing every 10 minutes or so to make sure the cubes roast evenly.
~ In a saute pan, warm 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned and no longer pink. Stir in the minced garlic and walnuts. Stir together for a few minutes and then change spoons to avoid cross-contamination.
~ In another pan, bring water to a boil and cook the orecchiette according to package directions. It takes a little longer to cook than most pasta, so just keep that in mind.
~ While the pasta cooks, add the white wine into the chicken, garlic, and walnuts. This will deglaze the pan and create a little bit of a sauce. Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Allow this to cook down a bit and then top with the salad greens.
~ Gently press down on the salad greens and slowly incorporate them into the mixture. They will begin to wilt. Lower the heat and stir in the roasted butternut squash. Allow these flavors to marry together for a few minutes on low.
~ In yet another pan (sorry — lots of pans!!), melt the butter. Stir it regularly so it doesn’t burn. You want the butter to turn a deep amber color. It will foam twice during the melting process.
~ When the butter smells slightly nutty, remove from heat and stir in the sage leaves. Inhale. Smile. 🙂
~ After the sage has flavored the butter for a few minutes, toss the sage brown butter with the vegetable chicken mixture. Strain the pasta, reserving a little bit of the water. Toss the pasta in, too, and use the starchy pasta water if you need to thicken the sauce a bit.
~ Plate this delightful creation and garnish with Parmesan cheese shavings.
~ Try and tell me this isn’t one of the funkiest, yummiest, most textured meals you’ve had in a while. It’s hard, right?!??!
This could easily be made vegetarian without the chicken — that was my boyfriend’s request 🙂
Enjoy 🙂 🙂 <3