Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Cheesy pasta bake with winter squash, prosciutto, and brussels sprouts leaves
1/2 lb pasta (I used whole wheat penne; the ridges were good for grabbing the sticky sauce)
2 small winter squash (such as acorn) or one larger winter squash (such as butternut)
1 block gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 container of marscapone cheese
parmesan cheese to taste, grated
1/2 cup milk
1/8 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced at the deli and then cut into ribbons
salt and pepper to taste
brussels sprouts leaves to garnish (peel them off the outside of the sprouts--you could also use frozen peas and add them at the last minute)
nutmeg to taste
pinch of brown sugar (optional, depending on sweetness of squash)
Olive oil for roasting squash
1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half (through the equator for round squash, lengthwise for oblong). Scoop out seeds and pulp. Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast until squash is completely softened (time will vary depending on variety of squash). Alllow squash to cool and then scoop it out of the peel. This step can be done in advance.
2. Boil a large pot of water. Add a healthy handful of salt and cook pasta until just al dente (a minute or so under package directions). Drain.
3. While pasta is cooking, place squash and marscapone in a food processor and whip until fluffy and thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg (it should be very seasoned, since the pasta will dilute the flavors).
4. Add pasta back to cooking pot. Stir in squash mixture, grated gruyere and parmesan, and a little milk as needed to form a sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
5. Put pasta in an ovenproof dish and bake at 350 until cheese is melted and bubbly (about 30 minutes).
6. While pasta is baking, heat a little olive oil in a skillet to almost smoking. Add prosciutto and crisp. Set on paper towels to drain. Add the brussels sprouts leaves to the prosciutto fat and cook until almost crisp. Just before serving stir in garnishes and enjoy!