Imagine, if you wish, how many food -blogs, chef & restaurant newsletters, foodie magazines and the sorts that I get on any given day – suffice to say, “A LOT” and I peruse pretty much all of them, but then when something catches my eye, say in the subject line or when I scroll down through the pictures, then I zero in and clap on. Such was the case when I read the Lucky Peach subject line: What You Need to Know About the Trendiest Beer, Squash, and Opening a Restaurant. All I saw was: What You Need to Know About Squash then I scrolled down through the email until I stopped at this picture & recipe: Fettuccine with Butternut Squash and Red Poblano Crema. So I clapped onto this glorious looking dish, pictured in a pot just like my favorite pot. My initial impetus to go to the farmers market was because I was going make a soup, I now call my November #1 soup and red pablanos which I learned can only be had about two weeks a year so I was out the door and off to the Union Square Farmers Market like a shot.
I picked up a batch of the Falls bounty to make my November #1 soup. This consisted of everything pictured here sans the top of the butternut squash. To make the November #1 soup I tossed the whole delicata squash and the bulb/bottom half of the butternut squash, (because it’s the neck part that is used to make the fettuccine and red Pablano dish) in the oven after pricking the skin randomly w/a fork and rubbing it w/a drizzle of olive oil. After about a half hour of cooking time in a 375 degree oven slice it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and return to the oven cut side down on a parchment or aluminum foil lined tray. While this is baking prepare the other vegetables, peel & dice the carrot & an onion, peel and core the apple. Cut the sunchokes in half lengthwise then across into medium chunks.
Get a heavy bottom pot hot . Coat the bottom w/oil and a pinch of salt. I added the carrots and onions to braise. I put water up to boil in my kettle – about 5 cups. Once you feel the veg are braised enough, say 5-7 mins or so, stirring pretty consistently, toss in a bullion cube, the apple, sunchokes and 4-5 cups of hot water. When I was digging around in my ‘spice cabinet’ for the bullion cube I came across a piece of a dried ancho chili, so this made it into ‘the soup’. Stir and bring the flame/heat down to a simmer. Remove the squash from the oven and scrape the pulp into the soup. Mix occasionally and cook off for about 40 mins until the sunchokes are tender. Blend – you’ve got soup.
It was nightmare Wednesday the 9th that I made my first batch of my all time favorite dish, SpecialD now – Rick Bayless’ Fettuccine with Butternut Squash and Red Poblano Crema
First things first- roast the peppers and 3 or 4 garlic cloves in their skin. You’ll have to shake the pan under the flame or turn them over to thoroughly char the pepper’s skins. While this is cooking prepare the neck of the butternut squash into1/8″ planks
Then into ribbons.
By the time you’re done with this the peppers and garlic should be ready to be removed from the oven. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove the skin and seeds. Cut the best looking pepper into ribbons, these will be used as a garnish. Coursely chop the two other peppers and toss them into a food processor with the roasted garlic dents. Season to taste with S&P. Then you add about a cup of Mexican crema which can easily be substituted w/sour cream or creme fraiche.
Cook the butternut squash ribbons off in well salted water for about 4 minutes. Pour the red poblano creme sauce into a pan over a medium flame/temperature. With a slotted spoon or tongs add the cooked off squash to the crime sauce and add 8 oz of fettuccine to the boiling salted water. I used fresh pasta which cooked off in about 5 – 8 minutes. Always reserve at least a cup of cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the creme sauce & mix in the roasted pepper ribbons and about a 1/4 cup of Parmesan.
Top with finely chopped cilantro- if you have it. Dish out, eat up!. Who ever doesn’t think this is the most Dlicious meal, dish, food, sustenance, cibo, they’ve eaten in a long time, ya gotta let me know.
After making the Butternut Fettuccine for a second time I roughly chopped up the leftover bottom, cleaned out the seeds and steamed that off. While this steamed off I tossed a can of Trader Joe’s smoked trout and a dollop of olive oil mayo w/a grated apple which I slathered onto a toasted baguette wedge and ate w/the steamed butternut squash chunks.
Last but certainly not least I whipped up probably the best Butternut squash (& leek) risotto I’ve ever made. Back at ya with that very simple recipe.