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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add some butter to the squash (about 2 tablespoons) and mash the squash, adding some salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta and drain. Pour about one cup of pasta water in the bowl with the squash, and mix till smooth.
- 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.
- 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.
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