What I Made: Cavatelli with Squash and Sage

One of the things I have come to appreciate about getting my produce from a CSA is the unmistakeable slide of the seasons. There’s no need to check to calendar to know it’s no longer summer. We’ve clearly left the tomatoes and peaches behind for substantial squash and crisp apples. With its warm spices and hearty sauce, this dish is one of those that tastes like fall and is perfect when the days start turning a bit cooler. (Those Pumpkin Spice Latte aficionados understand that sentiment, I’m sure.)

This was another attempt at homemade pasta. This time I got even more adventurous by combining all purpose and whole wheat flour. It wasn’t exactly a failure, but I did think the dough could rest longer to better incorporate the whole wheat.

AcornSquashPasta

Cavatelli with Squash and Sausage, adapted from Simply in Season
(Cavatelli recipe via Food Network)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 large egg
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cavatelli-with-asparagus.html?oc=linkback
1 pound Italian sausage (I used spicy, but recipe suggests sweet)
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh sage, cut into thin strips
1 cup dry white wine (could also use chicken broth)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup acorn squash or other winter squash, cooked and pureed
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:
1. Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Mix the ricotta and egg in a small bowl with a fork and then dump into the well. Using the fork and working your way around the well, gradually mix the flour into the ricotta mixture until the dough is crumbly. If the dough is too dry to come together, add up to 3 tablespoons water, a little at a time.
2. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (not sticky), about 6 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature, 30 minutes. (The dough can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator, just bring it to room temperature before rolling it out and forming the pasta.)
3. Take about one eighth of the dough (leaving the rest wrapped), roll the dough on the counter into a 1/2-inch-thick log. Cut the log into 1/2-inch pieces and then roll each piece into a small ball.
4.With a butter knife, gently pull the the dough towards you and let the dough curl up over the knife edge, making a thin, twisted pasta.
5. Place completed cavatelli on a floured baking sheet, and repeat step 4 to make the remaining cavatelli.
6. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until al dente, about 5 minutes.
7. Brown sausage in pan. Remove meat and drain off fat.
8. Return pan to heat and sauté garlic and onion until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
9. Add bay leaf, sage, and wine and cook until reduced by half.
10. Mix in pureed squash and chicken broth, and bring to a simmer. Add sausage back in to mixture.
11. Stir in milk, cinnamon and nutmeg and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
12. Remove bay leaf and add cavatelli.  Cook 1 minute until pasta is heated. Serve  topped with with additional sage and grated Parmesan.

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