Cozy and comforting, full of flavorful squash and greens, this pasta hits all the right notes.
1 Robin’s Koginut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 sweet onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 big handfuls escarole, torn into small pieces
1 bunch Lacinato kale, leaves pulled from tough stems and torn into small pieces
5 large garlic cloves, coarse chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tight-packed tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound imported pasta, such as this week’s fusilli col bucu
1-1½ cups fromage blanc
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Slip a large shallow sheet pan into the oven and preheat it to 450°. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. In a big bowl, toss together the first 8 ingredients, seasoning the vegetable mix generously with salt and pepper.
2. Pull out the oven rack holding the sheet pan. Taking care not to burn yourself, turn the vegetables onto the hot sheet pan and spread it out. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender, turning the vegetables two or three times during roasting. Once the squash is tender, turn on the broiler to caramelize it. Watch the vegetables closely, you want crusty brown edges on the squash and wilted, almost crisp greens.
3. While the squash is cooking, cook the sausage in a skillet until no longer pink on the inside, crumbling into bite-size pieces as it cooks. Set aside. At the same time, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook it until tender, but with some firmness to the bite. Drain in a colander.
4. Scrape the roasted vegetables and sausage into a serving bowl. Add the hot pasta, and 1 cup of the fromage blanc cheese. Toss to blend, tasting for salt and pepper. Add grated Grana-style cheese and an additional dollop of fromage blanc to each serving, if desired. Serve hot.
Done well, the beginning of a meal is often more memorable than the finish, a delightful first taste that whets the appetite and hints at greater things to come. This week, we are celebrating the art of the appetizer with a bountiful spread inspired by the French countryside: Savory country-style pâté, crunchy cornichon pickles and herbed fromage blanc from Cherry Valley Dairy, plus our own apricot mostarda. Paired with an artisan baguette and an incredible array of summer produce—from heirloom tomatoes and baby artichokes to blueberries and Imperial Epineuse plums—this beautiful first course is satisfying enough to last all evening long!
Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:
Charred Scallion Gremolata
This smoky sauce is wonderful slathered on grilled bread.
Oven-Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes
Slow-roasting these beautiful tomatoes concentrates their unique flavor—try these alongside this week’s array of appetizers!
Braised Baby Artichokes
Simmered with white wine and chicken stock, these tender artichokes are melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Grilled Turnips with Mint & Lime
The bright combination of mint and lime adds summery appeal to these tender-crisp grilled turnips.
This bright aioli is fantastic served with grilled summer veggies!
Polenta Cake with Plums
This luscious cake is kissed with juicy European plums and citrus peel.