I cooked a version of this pasta last year and posted a photo of it to my Instagram account, but never got around to posting the recipe on my blog. And after some tweaks and refrigerator inspiration, it's now better and ready to send off into blog-land.
Last year- sugar pumpkin, this year- buttercup squash. Last year- conchiglie, this year- casarecce. Last year- walnuts, this year- pecans. Plus radicchio for good measure. Obviously there are some changes you could make here, so feel free to use what you have. I had radicchio in my fridge this go-round, and to be honest, it's an addition I wouldn't go without. The bitterness from the greens are a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the honeyed squash.
ROAST BUTTERCUP CASARECCE
- 1 small buttercup squash
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons pourable honey
- 4 anchovies, minced or 2 tablespoons anchovy extract)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 small heads radicchio, chopped
- 12 ounces brown rice pasta (I used Jovial brown rice "caserecce" but feel free to use whatever shape you like)
- 3/4 cup pecorino romano, grated
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Quarter and seed your squash to make it more manageable, then peel and cut into bite-sized chunks (about 3/4"). Spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with a large splash of olive oil, enough honey to lightly coat the squash, a couple pinches of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast until tender and starting to caramelize, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, add a splash of olive oil along with your anchovies or anchovy extract to a cast iron pan. Turn to medium heat, and add the garlic. Once the anchovy is fragrant but before the garlic is brown, add the radicchio to the pan. Toss occasionally and cook until the radicchio has started to wilt but still holds its shape slightly. Once cooked, turn the heat to extra low to keep the pan warm.
While the radicchio is cooking, boil a pot of salted water. Add your pasta, and cook according to package directions. Once cooked, drain the pasta, reserving 1/3 cup pasta water. Add it back to the pot along with your pasta. Add the pecorino and parsley to the pasta and water. Toss to melt the cheese and coat the pasta. Add your radicchio and squash to the pasta. Toss in your pecans, and season with salt and pepper to taste.