Pasta will always be in my top five foods. I could eat it every single day and never get sick of it. Partially because pasta possibilities are literally endless. For this one, I’m using Kabocha squash for the sauce and tossing in some extra veggies. I actually made this thinking I could get my nieces (Selma, 5 and Anna, 3) to eat it. I thought, “they will never know they’re eating vegetables!” Well, that didn’t go as well as I had hoped but my sister and I enjoyed it.
Kabocha squash is commonly referred to as the Japanese pumpkin. This Asian winter squash variety is of the same species as the Buttercup variety that we grow. It has an incredibly sweet and tender flesh with a slightly nutty flavor. Their dense, yet smooth texture makes them excellent for purées.
You can also substitute other squash in this recipe – butternut, acorn, pumpkin, or other hard squashes. The flavor and water content of squash will vary slightly so you might need to make some adjustments to account for the differences to reach desired taste and texture.
The purée can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerated until needed or frozen for up to 3-4 months.
The carrots and arugula are technically optional… But you should put them in! You’ll hardly notice you’re eating vegetables. Unless you are my nieces who immediately want to know “what’s the green stuff?” If you are familiar with arugula, it has a bitter peppery taste. I think it’s perfect for this puree because it complements the sweetness of the squash. I used the leftover arugula to make this salad. Not a fan of arugula? Use spinach instead!
Definitely add the carrots in. You should eat carrots EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I think Alton Brown is awesome).
I used egg pappardelle. But you can use whatever pasta you prefer. You can spend all day reading opinions about what the best type of pasta is – egg, wheat, rice, and so on. I just us a different type each time I make something. YAY for variety!
Let me know if your kids will eat this. I’ll keep working on my nieces ; )
Kabocha Cream Pappardelle with Carrots and Arugula
- Serves 6-8
- Total Time 45 minutes
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups kabocha squash, cut into ½” pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ teaspoon ground sage (or 1 teaspoon fresh sage)
¼ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
8 ounces pappardelle
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup arugula
1 cup carrot, ribbons
¼ cup grated Parmesan
DirectionsHeat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add wine to deglaze pan and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is cooked and liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Puree in blender until smooth.
Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions, lessening the cook time by 1 minute. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
Return puree to skillet and stir in the cooked pasta, arugula, and carrot ribbons. Over low heat stir until combined adding ¼ cup pasta water. Continue to add pasta water until desired consistency is reached.
Serve pasta topped with Parmesan.