TASTY TIDBITS TUESDAY
I love pasta! Hands down, other than ice cream I love pasta best. Growing up, I never ate pasta; No-we ate macaroni and gravy, spaghetti and meatballs. Macaroni was/is pasta or rather pasta is macaroni. Some people think other than spaghetti and linguine all those other shapes are not pasta – what would they be? My own husband thinks the only pasta is linguine and I keep telling him, it’s not the correct macaroni for every sauce. When you are reading a recipe in an Italian cookbook or at an Italian restaurant and the dish description specifies a pasta such as shells, or rigatoni or mezzani – there’s a good reason why so. Some sauce require a thicker, chewier pasta or one with lines so the sauce can cling to pieces. Ahhhh once again I have digressed a bit.
What I really wanted to say was how much I enjoy preparing vegetarian pasta dishes. There are so many possibilities and as you can probably deduce from previous posts, most of the pasta recipes I post are vegetarian.
I remember once asking my Grandfather about whether or not when he was young and still living in Italy, how did his mother prepare macaroni. I wanted to know about meatballs, Bolognese sauce, sausages and spare ribs…well he quickly set me straight and told me that “IF” they were lucky there was meat in the pasta once a week, most likely on Sunday. You know about Sunday Sauce don’t you? Well another post at another time. Growing up in my Italian-American household, I don’t remember ever eating pasta with anything other than meat or seafood EXCEPT on Fridays when we would have Linguine Aglio e Olio, which is linguine prepared with olive oil and garlic. So as an adult I decided to explore the world of pasta without meat and a whole new world opened up for me. I highly recommend the cookbook, The Top One Hundred PASTA SAUCES by Diane Seed. It is replete with great pasta recipes with vegetables as well as a few meat and fish sauces.
Roasted Red Onion and Squash Pasta
2 medium red onions, cut into 6 wedges, layers separated
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cut into 3/4″ pieces (I buy already prepped)
1 TBS coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves ( I used 2-3)
1TBS olive oil
coarse salt and pepper
1/2 # short ribbed pasta such as rigatoni
1/4 cup grated Fontina cheese (2 oz)
Preheat oven 450 degrees
On rimmed baking sheet, toss onions, squash, sage leaves with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer and roast until tender, about 25 minutes, rotating sheet and tossing vegetables, halfway through.
Meanwhile, in large pot, cook pasta till tender to preference. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. Add vegetables and cheese and toss to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta.