☆Monday Night Pasta☆
Inspired by the food writer, journalist, champion of British cheese, an all round good egg I say inspired by, this pasta is not an exact replication, more of an approximation. Jenny used rigatoni, pumpkin, pecans, chard and stilton. I’ve changed all five! tortiglioni, butternut squash, walnuts, kale and stitchelton, (a blue cheese very similar to stilton) not out of disrespect, more practical measures. There’s a box of tortiglioni in the cupboard, to buy a pumpkin for two portions of pasta seems uneconomical, plus squash is much more manageable for a small fridge too. The nuts, greens and cheese I just happened to have to hand too. A pecan may have a sweeter note, the kale more robust than chard and I just love the richer, saltier flavour of stitchleton. Crisp sage leaves are my addition, earthy and musky as well as adorning the oil from frying flavours the squash.
Simple to put together, in a sauté pan fry the sage leaves in olive oil, set aside. Colour cubes of squash in the same pan season with salt and chopped rosemary. Cover with water, cook until tender, the water will reduce, the butternut will soften in the same time. Cook the pasta until al dente, adding ripped pieces of kale halfway through, drain, making sure you reserve a good scoop of cooking water. Toss the pasta with the squash, anointing with cream, drop in chopped walnuts, along with the pieces of cheese until melted, loosen with the pasta water to ensure a saucy, not claggy texture. Serve with the sage leaves along with more nuts and tiny nuggets of cheese. Sturdy, stubby pasta, sweet squash, salty cheese, the crunch of nuts, a perfect autumnal pasta.