Pasta with squash, cheese and pecans

November 13, 2010  • 

 

This is a recipe I plucked from a French blog C’est Moi qui l’ai Fait. It is very forgiving of substitutions, so I used queso frescoinstead of the goat cheese in the recipe; I also used pecans instead of hazelnuts.

This pasta is sweet. Yet I did not add any sugar, must be that kabocha squash I used to make the sauce.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 pound of tube-shaped pasta (300 g)
  • 1 Kabocha squash (can use any variety) weighing about 900 g or almost 2 pounds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil or butter as needed
  • 1 pound of white crumbly  cheese (used queso fresco, a Mexican white farmer’s cheese)- the original recipe called for goat cheese
  • salt, pepper, a dash of nutmeg
  • toasted pecans or hazelnuts, chopped coarsely

METHOD:

  1. Bake the kabocha squash in a medium-hot oven for 45 minutes or until done. It can be either split and seeded and filled with a little water and baked or baked whole, which is the easiest method.
  2. Scrape the seeds out, and keep them aside to roast later if you like. The seeds are very nutritious if eaten raw, so you can clean them and dry them in the oven for a few minutes and eat them as a snack later.
  3. Add some butter to the squash (about 2 tablespoons) and mash the squash, adding some salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta and drain. Pour about one cup of pasta water in the bowl with the squash, and mix till smooth.
  5. Fry the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil or clarified butter (better tasting!) and when the onion is golden-brown, add the squash mixture and mix well, adjusting seasonings. Add the pasta and mix well to get as much of the sauce into the tubes.
  6. Place in a buttered dish and spread out; cover with cheese and heat in a 350F (180 C) for 20 minutes; serve warm with a sprinkling of toasted chopped pecans.

NOTE: Two other cheeses I would have used here: areesh, a Lebanese white crumbly cheese similar in texture to the Mexican queso fresco but unavailable in the US to my knowledge; or simply Feta, soaked in several water baths to desalt it.


Comments

28 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Carol says:

    Your pasta dish looks delicious! Love your substitutions! All the flavors sound so good together! Nice combination of pecans with cheese.

  2. deana says:

    I love your pasta, as always a a great combination of flavors– but wanted to comment on your comment… I was so touched by your story about the sea turtles and their guardian angels… I think they are such gentle giants of the sea … I really don’t want to eat them!!!

  3. Joan Nova says:

    I love pumpkin/squash with pasta though I haven’t tried it with pecans. Generally I use hazelnut, almonds or walnuts.

  4. Barbara says:

    I love using squash in pasta dishes, Joumana. I stuffed some ravioli with squash last year and served it with pecans and dried cranberries.
    Love the idea of ground pecans…going to try that.

  5. sophia says:

    I’m not a fan of Thanksgiving food….but this would be a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving!! YAY kabocha!! 😀

  6. Conor @Hold the Beef says:

    I don’t think I’ve had a pecan-y pasta before but I like the idea. Can we follow it up with some pecan pie? 😉

  7. rebecca says:

    thanks for the comment, you have a fab blog and love learning about Lebanese food and culture here LOL Rebecca

  8. SYLVIA says:

    What is Thanksgiving without squash? This meal is perfect for holiday entertaining, the vibrant orange color brings a splash of color to dinner table, and satisfies every sweet tooth in the family. Joumana, you always have something amazing on hand to impress last minute guests.

  9. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I can tell I would love this pasta, what a delicious list of ingredients!
    I hope you are having a great weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  10. myfrenchkitchen says:

    It looks delicious Joumana! Your just showed us again how much can be done with courges!
    bises
    Ronelle

  11. Cherine says:

    This pasta dish looks so good and flavorful

  12. Susan says:

    One of the best things about fall are the squash recipes! I love the sound of this one with the lovely cheese and pecans. Delightful!

  13. Lea Ann says:

    I’m loving all of these squash and pasta recipes. I just used a Kobacha squash with spaghetti. Didn’t really use it to make the sauce, just chopped some up, mixed it in with cooked spaghetti, some sage and cheese. You can’t go wrong with the combo.

  14. Tammy says:

    What a beautiful autumnal dish. I love how simple this is and the pasta shape that you used.

  15. Priya says:

    Fantastic pasta dish, love the addition of squash..

  16. Claudia says:

    I love mixing the world with pasta! Pecans and cheese? Oh yes? Baked squash? Definitely. This went right to my heart (and hunger).

  17. Christine @ Fresh says:

    Kabocha squash is my favorite variety of the winter squash. It’s so sweet! This looks like a very good combination for pasta.

  18. Chiara says:

    I love the idea of incorporating pecans in a pasta recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  19. peter says:

    Joumana, I love squash with pasta and you should try adding some of that sage you have in your pantry. Squash loves (adores) sage!

  20. FOODESSA says:

    Joumana…now this is my kind of cooking.
    Love the blend of ingredients used in this dish…and of course…I do love pasta ;0)

    Flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  21. HPD says:

    You had me at “forgiving of substitutes.” My favorite line in any recipe!! Cheers!

  22. Meeta says:

    Oh yes this is really my kind of dish – love the great flavors here!

  23. Nuts about food says:

    That is very reminiscent of a pasta a posted on Friday…squah, cheese (mine had kelemata olives in it – so many variations)… simple yet so satisfying.

  24. Jamie says:

    Mmm I really need to make more savory dishes with squash. Love it with the cheese.

  25. Oui, Chef says:

    The textures and flavors of this dish seem custom made for me….thanks! – S

  26. Julie says:

    J’adore ce plat, il a l’air tellement appĂ©tissant et le mĂ©lange d’ingrĂ©dients est vraiment rĂ©ussi! D’ailleurs, tu me donnes vraiment faim lĂ … bisous!

  27. domi says:

    Ce plat tout comme le précédent apporte ces trois textures qui vont faire de ce plat une délicate assiette gourmande

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