In case it hasn’t been clear from recent posts, I have a deep, deep fondness for pasta. I’m also slightly obsessed with butternut squash. So when Gourmet featured this recipe in their "Quick Kitchen" section of January's issue, I was intrigued. This dish is, essentially, fall in a bowl. I actually savored, slowly, each bite I took. It also didn't hurt that the orange and purple hues were lovely to look at on the plate.
It is surprisingly wonderful, and I say surprisingly because radicchio has a habit of being bitter and unfriendly, but its strong bite is softened by adding sweet butternut squash. As if that weren’t exquisite enough, texture and flavor are only enhanced by adding toasted, butter coated pine nuts. Oh, did I mention the butter is browned? Well, the butter is browned, making the nut flavor even more complex.
Fettuccine with Butternut Squash and Radicchio
Adapted from Gourmet
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 ½ cups)
1 medium head of radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
1 lb. fettuccine or other long, flat pasta
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1. Melt butter and oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring, until nuts and butter have browned, 1-3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer nuts to a bowl and set aside.
2. Add squash to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add radicchio, pinches of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until wilted and just tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and add to skillet. Toss pasta with vegetables, adding cooking liquid in ½ cup increments, stirring over low heat until eheated through.
4. Serve topped with pine nuts and cheese.