Autumn is such a beautiful season. It glows with so many unspoken fairy tales. It invites the soul to slow down and rest. Follow the dance of the falling leaves. Listen to the whispers of the stormy wind. It stirs within us something ancient and deep. Just like my Roast Butternut Squash Puree Pasta with Fig Balsamic Mushrooms today. Served with Goat Cheese, Walnuts, Sage and Rocket Salad leaves and drizzled with Truffle Oil it really hits the autumn spot. And why ever not? Beauty could be found in almost everything.
I am starting by dicing half of my butternut squash into cubes. I am saving the rest for a delicious veggie soup, but today only pasta is on the menu. I add the diced butternut squash and two garlic cloves with the skin on in a baking tray together with some sage leaves, olive oil, salt and ground pepper. Roasted in the oven for an hour, they gain such a deep, fragrant scent. I am taking the garlic skin off and add all baked tray ingredients in a blender. The butternut squash pieces might be slightly hard, but adding a hot cup of boiling pasta water softens and blends the puree into a delicious mixture.
Normally, will just bake the chestnut mushrooms with some butter and a few thyme strings, but being adventurous today, I am deciding to try something different. I bake the mushrooms in olive oil instead and only when they are ready I glaze them with rich fig balsamic vinegar. Shining in a delicious sweet-sour glaze, the mushrooms gain a kick that fits so nicely with the roast garlic butternut squash puree.
Once the pasta is ready, I drain the water and mix with the puree. To serve, I plate the pasta, top with the mushrooms, a some goat cheese to mellow all the strong flavours, a few walnuts and fresh sage and rocket salad leaves, and at the end, drizzle a few droplets of truffle oil. What a delicious feast! A perfect meal for glorious golden autumn day.
- 1/2 Butternut Squash
- 500g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 250g Goat Cheese
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- a few droplets of Truffle Oil
- 1 tbsp Fig Balsamic Vinegar
- Rocket salad
- Sage leaves
- Thyme strigs
- handful of walnuts
- ground black pepper
1. Boil the pasta in plenty of water with a pinch of salt and a few droplets of olive oil.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Dice 1/2 butternut squash into cubes. Add the butternut squash and two garlic cloves with the skin on in a baking tray. Season with a few sage leaves, salt and ground black pepper and drizzle over a few droplets of olive oil. Bake for 1 hour, mixing in-between. Once baked, remove the garlic skin. Add all ingredients in a blender plus half a cup from the boiling pasta water and blend until smooth.
3. Wash and cut the mushrooms into disks. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil, add the mushrooms, a few thyme strigs, salt and ground black pepper and mix well. Bake until the mushrooms become golden brown then glaze with a tablespoon of fig balsamic vinegar. Discard the thyme strigs.
4. Once the pasta has been boiled, drain the water and mix with the butternut squash puree.
5. To serve, plate the pasta, topped with mushrooms, goat cheese, walnuts, fresh sage and rocket salad leaves, and drizzle with a few droplets of Truffle Oil.