Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rotini with Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms

Prep time: 15 minutes  
Roasting time: 25-40 minutes
Sauté time: 5 minutes
Serves 4

Vegetables for roasting:
1 lb/450g Brussels sprouts
1 small butternut squash
8oz/225g cremini mushrooms
1 large garlic clove, not peeled
1-2 tbsp olive oil for tossing
1-2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

8oz/225g rotini or farfalle, penne or whatever short pasta you prefer. Multigrain or whole wheat pasta works well with this dish.
¼ - ½ cup pasta cooking water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling at serving time
Roasted vegetables
½ cup Fresh parsley, chopped
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (more or less to taste)
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional… mostly because I forgot to bring some to my daughter’s)

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet large enough for all the vegetables to be in one layer.  I like to use tin foil for easier cleanup.

2. Prepare vegetables separately so that if some are ready before the others you can remove them from the oven without having to pick them out.

Brussels sprouts: cut of any hard stem and, using a sharp paring knife, cut an X in the core.  It allows steam to get into the hard core so it cooks quicker without burning the leaves. Trim away any yellow or spotted leaves.  Toss with olive oil, salt pepper and some fresh rosemary and lay them in one layer on one side of the baking sheet.

Butternut Squash: cut in half length-wise and scoop out seeds and fibre. Rub with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary.  Place cut side down in the center of the baking sheet.

Mushrooms: wipe dirt off mushrooms and leave small ones whole, medium ones in half or quarters, large ones in wedges. Toss same as Brussels Sprouts and lay them on the other side of the squash.

Garlic: do not peel, but cut tip off the clove so that when it’s cooked and soft, you can squeeze out the garlic.  Rub with a bit of oil and place with mushrooms.

3.  Roast at 425°F/ 220°C for 20-40 minutes.  Check after 20 minutes and test for doneness.  Once vegetables are tender and golden, remove from the oven and set aside and continue cooking the rest. 

4. Peel the squash and cut into cubes, mash the roasted garlic and toss together with the mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts.  Set aside until the pasta is almost ready – should still be tougher than al dente.

5. Once the vegetables are roasted, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta according to directions (anywhere from 5-10 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of cooking water. Drain pasta.

6. In the meantime, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the vegetables  and pasta water plus balsamic vinegar.  Toss to coat. 

7. Add the drained pasta.  You won’t actually see “sauce”  and you might want to add a touch more water or balsamic vinegar. 

8. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the chopped parsley and grated cheese (or not – it tasted delicious even without any cheese). Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to your taste.

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