Fusilli Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash
Pasta is always a hit in my home. This time, I paired fusilli with roasted butternut squash, fresh edamame soybeans and creamy eggplant. The sauce is made from puréed grilled eggplant mixed with cream cheese, onions and garlic. The winter squash gives more body and a deep orange color to the dish, and of course a pleasant sweetness.
My poor husband caught a bad cold that kept him in bed all weekend. I've been taking good care of him, feeding him comfort food and lots of fluids. Even though it might not cure his cold, this creamy pasta dish will cheer him up a little!
Yields: 6 servings1 (16-ounce) package fusilli pasta, cooked and drained
1 butternut squash
2 teaspoons honey
3 shallots, chopped
6 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces fresh edamame beans
1-½ tablespoons kosher salt (or regular salt)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
Roasting the butternut squash:
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Peel and dice the butternut squash into 1-½" cubes. In a bowl, toss the diced butternut squash in honey, kosher salt, pepper and olive oil.
Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Place the butternut squash pieces without crowding them. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until slightly browned and softened. Let cool.
For the edamame beans: Place a steamer basket over a good amount of water in a large saucepan. Add the edamame to the basket. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain and shell the soybeans, then immediately transfer them into a cold water bath. Strain and pat dry on a towel. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
For the eggplant:
Trim the eggplant and slice lengthwise into 5-6 pieces (about ½"-thick), depending on the size of the eggplant. Layer a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (to collect the excess moisture). Place the eggplant slices on the rack. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. Pat dry using a paper towel. Brush a hot griddle pan with olive oil. Drizzle oil on the eggplant slices. Place the slices on the griddle. Cook until you get grill marks and the eggplant is softened (about 3-4 minutes on each side) on medium heat. Remove from the pan. Coarsely chop while it's still hot. The eggplant pulp should turn into a purée. Add the cream cheese. Season with salt, paprika, ground coriander, garlic powder and black pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of raw shallots to the eggplant pulp; cook the rest. In a nonstick large pan, heat the rest of the olive oil. Add the shallots. Cook until the shallots are soft and slightly golden. Add the pasta and red chili flakes. Toss the pasta for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add a little water. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the eggplant pulp. Mix well.
In the same pan, add the edamame soybeans and butternut squash. Toss well, then add the pasta. back to the pan. Check seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.
Blanching the edamame soybeans will help maintain their appetizing green color when added to the pasta.
If you're a pasta lover, check out my other pasta dishes.Published By: on January 31, 2011.