Pasta Pan-Fried with Butternut Squash, Fried Sage, and Pine Nuts
1 medium butternut squash
1 small sweet onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
1 pound farfalle pasta
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 ounces high quality Parmesan, shredded or shaved (about a cup total)
Heat the oven to 375°. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the strings and seeds the middle cavity. Flip the squash halves upside down and peel them. Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Toss with the onion, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Mince about half of the fresh sage leaves and also toss with the squash.
Spread the squash mixture in a thin layer on a large baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is soft.
Heat salted pasta water to boiling and cook the farfalle until al dente. Drain and set aside. As the squash finishes roasting, heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large high-sided sauté pan or wok. The oil is ready when it pops and sputters. (Don't let it start smoking.) Drop in the rest of the sage leaves and fry for about a minute, or until they begin to just shrivel up.
Remove with a slotted spoon and salt lightly. Crush with the back of a spoon.
Add the pasta to the pan, along with the roasted squash mixture. Crumble in the sage. Cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes or until the pasta is heated through and getting crispy on some of the edges. Add the pine nuts and cook for another minute. Stir in the cheese and a few splashes of heavy cream and serve.
(if your pan is not large enough you can split the frying into two portions. Also, the cream was not part of the original recipe and is optional, but I found it added just the right touch.)