Brown Butter Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage, Rosemary, and Toscano
My ex-boyfriend gave me a large kitchen knife the night he broke up with me.
That’s right, he literally handed me a weapon on one of the most unstable nights of my life. Let’s return to the scene:
After informing me that he wanted to break up, he presented me with a bag of stuff that I could only assume would be a random assortment of items I had left at his house. But no. As he explained to me, a cooking store was going out of business and he had bought me a few things. In the bag was a variety of new kitchen implements, including a few bowls, measuring spoons, and a very large, very sharp kitchen knife.
Clearly, he chose the perfect occasion to give them to me…. Fortunately for him, I am not an especially violent person.
And I guess trust wasn’t among the ranking problems in our relationship.
Anyway it certainly wasn’t the worst consolation prize I’ve ever received. I really did need that knife because I’m notorious for sticking them in the dishwasher, leaving them wet so they rust, never sharpening them, and otherwise offending the gods of cutlery. My knives never stay in tip-top shape for very long.
That said, my chopping skills aren’t nearly as much of an embarrassment as my knife maintenance skills. I’m up to my eyes in butternut squash this time of year, so I’ve about got the butternut chopping method down. Scroll on down to the notes section of the recipe if you’re nonplussed by the sight of a full size butternut squash that not a single kind soul has volunteered to chop for you.
Now let’s talk about this pasta, shall we?
This dish has all the smooth butternut squash-iness of the ubiquitous butternut ravioli with none of the cutting and filling and folding business. Don’t get me wrong, hand-filled ravioli certainly have their place in my life, but that place is not weeknight dinner.
It’s complex yet delicate, the kind of pasta dish that tastes like it requires 20 ingredients, rather than just a couple of strategically chosen herbs and some brown butter (you’re welcome). The brown butter mixture and the light, cheesy sauce, prepared using a method similar to that of cacio e pepe, bring out the sweetness of the butternut squash in the most wonderful way.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I and my roommate, who eats the squash directly out of the pan before I can manage to add it to the pasta, do.