A cold night, the sort that gets into your bones, is the sort of night you need to eat this pasta. And yes, we do gets night like that here. It’s difficult to predict when, January or February, when the nights have closed in but you still need suntan cream at mid-day. We’re 500m above sea level here, surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks, so we hunker down beside the roaring fire and eat this pasta dish. We have made this recipe so many times that the page is torn and in places illegible, and for that reason our quantities probably vary from the original. We’ve had to improvise, it’s what D does best. I know it is a Nigella Lawson recipe torn from a magazine, I don’t know which magazine. It must be at least six years old, if not more, and we do not tire of eating it. The combination of butter and paprika makes the most glorious glossy sauce which, trust me, you will scrape off your plate at the end.
1.25/1.5kg butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp smoked paprika, dulce
½ tsp smoked paprika, picante
1 oz butter [don’t be tempted to use margarine]
3 tbsp marsala
100g pine nuts
6 fresh sage leaves
125g blue cheese [we used gorgonzola, but any blue cheese works well] Peel and de-seed the squash and cut into 1cm cubes. Peel and finely chop the onion, and fry in olive oil in a frying pan large enough to cope with the quantity of pasta later. When the onion starts to turn golden, add the paprika.
Add the cubes of squash and the butter, tossing everything together so the squash is slicked with butter. Then add the marsala and water. Let the pan come to a bubble, put on the lid and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan on the hob until golden, then tip into a bowl to cool. Lift the lid off the pan and check the squash is tender, if not then cook for a little longer with the lid on. It should hold its shape and not turn to mush. Finely chop the sage leaves and sprinkle over the squash.
Once the butternut is ready, cook your pasta of choice. Drain, then tip into the pan with the squash. Crumble the cheese into pieces, and gently stir into the hot pasta and squash mixture. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top, and serve.
5 to remember
el tipo que – the sort that
los huesos – the bones
es difícil para predecir – it’s difficult to predict
el mediodía – midday
rasgado/a – torn