Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fall Foods

Fall is much more mellow than summer, it's all about comforting foods. You stop grilling and start braising. And your house starts smelling good, because you always have something in the oven. Although I love summery foods, fruits, salads, ice-cream and all the goodness of fresh produce, every year I look forward to the fall season. The days are just gorgeous, clear blue skies, sunny days, leaves changing color, and of course comfort foods.
I made a Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce with Garlic and Sage to kick-off the "fall foods cooking" in my house. It was on Wednesday night after a long day at work, so I used store bought four cheese ravioli. Not bad at all for a weeknight dinner.

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce with Garlic and Sage

1 large butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
6 fresh sage leaves, cut in thin strips
1 cup chicken broth (or 1 cup of the pasta water)
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Chopped walnuts, for garnish

Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise to remove the seeds and strings. Peel the skin using a paring knife and cut the squash into small cubes.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degres F. Place the squash and garlic in a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with oil and sage. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until squash is very tender, about 40 minutes.

Puree the the roasted squash and garlic with half-and-half and chicken broth, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with potato gnocchi, cheese ravioli or fresh pasta. Top with grated cheese and chopped walnuts before serving.


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