Roasted Delicata

Thu, Oct 21 • 0

In one way, I think my wife usually dreads the autumn, because that’s when I start doing things with winter squash. For the most part, she’s not into them. I think it has something to do with the way they sort of stick to your teeth, and their tendency to be sweet like sweet potatoes (also not on her list of favorites). So I was pretty surprised by her reaction to roasted and sliced delicata squash.

The delicata squash is ovoid in shape, with slight ribs running along its length. Their default color seems to be a light, creamy yellow, but that’s streaked with orange and green most times. They’re relatively easy to peel compared to most other winter squash, as the skin is smooth and mostly unblemished. I use a Y-peeler for the main body, pulling it towards me as I go, and a normal peeler for the rounded ends, which I trim off mostly anyway. I cut it in half, and core out the seeds and guts with a spoon. Then I slice the meat in quarter inch slices, toss them in olive oil and salt, and spread them on a foil lined baking sheet. I cook them in a hot oven, 425, for about an hour, tossing them halfway through.

The result is almost like french-fries, but with more fiber. She especially likes the dark and crispy caramelized parts. I bet if your kids don’t like to eat vegetables, they’ll dig these, too.

Roasted Winter Squash Pasta

Mon, Oct 12 • 0

So I had this scheme to make pasta with the flesh from some autumn squash. It turned out pretty good, though I’m not sure if it was worth the trouble. In the end, I couldn’t really detect any flavor difference, though the pasta did have a nice golden-orange color, and I imagine it had more fiber than it would have otherwise.

hubbardI started out with a red hubbard squash, a variety of buttercup, which has a dark orange flesh and a mottled red-orange skin. I cut it in half, removed the seeds, and put a little olive oil on the exposed flesh. Then I put it on a baking pan, cut side down, and cooked it in a hot oven for about an hour, and then turned it over and cooked it for another 30 minutes. The flesh was quite soft, but still really, really moist — in fact, too moist.

So I scraped out the flesh from the skin, and mashed it with a fork. In my food processor, I put three whole eggs, and 3 good sized handfuls of semolina flour, and a healthy dash of salt, along with about a cup of the squash. I also added a teaspoon of smoked paprika, in hopes that I could maintain the red-orange color. Well, like I said, the squash was really moist, and I ended up adding quite a lot more flour. I sort of lost track with how much I added, but I ended up adding all-purpose flour along with the semolina. Despite that, the resulting dough was still quite sticky.

If I were to make this again, I would probably figure out some way to strain the squash of some of it’s excess liquid — though I’m not sure how, exactly. Maybe like you do for yogurt to make yogurt cheese.

Anyway, in the end, the dough was a beautiful golden orange. I kneaded it, and ran it through the pasta machine, making strips of dough ultimately at the #6 thickness, and then I cut it into rough ¼” fettucini.

I served it with brown butter and sage sauce. The pasta had a great consistency, and my wife was quite impressed because when I first told her about my plan to make squash pasta, she made a face like she didn’t think it would be that good, but she really liked it.

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