Sigh, the recipe in the post has nothing to do with any of the veggies I received that week. But here they are, for the record:
-1 pound potatoes
-1 pound carrots (STOP THE MADNESS)
-1 acorn squash (with unnoticed damage; it rotted within a week, agh!)
-1 bunch purple basil
-1 head lettuce
-1 pound peppers
-3 asian pears
-2 hot chilis
-1 head garlic
Ok, The Best Pasta. We got delicata squash a couple times in a row, and I was reminded of the pizza I made with it last fall, with walnuts and other lovely things. But I didn’t feel like making pizza, and was leaning towards risotto or pasta until I saw this post on The Kitchn, suggesting a pasta dish with acorn squash and pancetta. It looked tasty, so I went with the pasta urge, though I didn’t follow that recipe. Instead, I made yet another absorption pasta, which even casual readers know I am obsessed with. First I got everything ready to go.
Delicata Absorption Pasta with Walnuts, Sage and Pancetta
For this I used about half of a 17 ounce bag, and it was three servings; it’s all very flexible
2 delicata squash (I used 1.5 in the pasta and reheated the other half the next night)
1 onion, diced
5 or 6 thin or 3 thicker slices of pancetta
A handful of walnuts
Butter (to fry the sage)
Chicken stock (have 4 cups on hand; you probably won’t use nearly that much but better safe than sorry)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, for serving
(For those keeping score at home, the squash, onion, and sage were from the farm)
(Ignore the arugula in that photo. I decided against it.)
I cut and cleaned the delicata squash and rubbed them with a bit of oil, then roasted face down at 425 for about 20-30 minutes, until they were very tender. Meanwhile I heated some olive oil in the pot I’d be using for the pasta and browned the pancetta, rendering as much of the fat as I could (you need oil to brown pancetta, btw–it tends to turn grey, then burn if you do it dry; I think the fat doesn’t render out as fast as American bacon). I pulled it out when it was nice and crispy, then softened my chopped-up onion in the delicious combination of lard and oil in that pan. I am not being facetious; that is good stuff. See the lovely color from the pancetta??
I also toasted the walnuts in the toaster oven and managed to just barely scorch them.
I added the pasta in to the onions and oil, and did the usual absorption thing–add stock, cover for a while, stir, add stock, uncover, etc. I use the covering/uncovering depending on how much stock I have/how fast I want the pasta to cook/how much more liquid needs to boil away once the pasta is almost done.
While the pasta cooked I crumbled the pancetta and chopped up the squash and walnuts. The nice thing about delicata is that the skin is usually so tender you can eat it. Test a sliver and if it isn’t tough, chop the squash up skin and all!
I fried a few sage leaves from the farm in butter, because why not add a third fat source? The more the merrier!
Once the pasta was al dente, I stirred in the chopped squash and about 2/3 of the pancetta and walnuts, along with a couple of the sage leaves, crumbled. I adjusted for salt and pepper, then plated the pasta and topped with the remaining pancetta and walnuts, a little sprinkle of parmesan and a couple sage leaves.
And then I died.
Actually I revived myself after dinner to chop up 900 peppers for Ben, because holy crap, our entire fridge? Full of peppers. I cut up at least 6 of these, I think (I just enjoy these colors):
Ben ate them in one workday, so I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about extra peppers, after all.