Monday, December 04, 2006

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Thyme

From Cook's Illustrated The Quick Recipe, p. 129

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon EVOO
1/2 medium onion, chopped ifne
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 T. chopped fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 lb. gemelli or spiral pasta
2 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesean cheese, plus a bit more for table
1 -2 T. lemon juice to taste
black ground pepper

1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in large pot.
2. Place almonds in a large skillet and set over medium high-heat. Toast, stirring often, until the almonds are fragrant and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. REturn the pan to medium-high heat, add the oil, and heat until oil is shimmering but notsmoking.Add the onion and cook until just softened, about 3 minutes. Add the squash, thyme, and broth; reduce the heaet to medium and cover. Cook until squash is tender but retains its shape, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add 1 T. salt and the pasta to the boiling water, stir to separate, then cook until al dente. Reserving 1 cup of pasta water in a measuring cup, drain pasta and return to the cooking pot. Add the squash mixture, parsley, Parmesean, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Mix until combined, adding more cooking water as neccessary to moisten the pasta. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table.

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