Ingredients for 4
500 gr (1.1 lb) spaghetti, broken into 2-inch bits*
4 kg (4.4 lbs) acorn squash, butternut or pumpkin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
Pinch of rosemary needles
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Stand-by boiling hot water
*other soup pastas work well for this dish,
like for example pasta mista, tubetti, ditali,
ditalini, farfalline etc.
The easiest way to peel and dice the squash, is to cut it crosswise into 3/4” slices. Peel the slices and discard the seeds and fibrous interior. Now cut into 3/4-inch cubes. If using pumpkin, cut it into wedges, discard the seeds, then peel the wedges and cube the pulp.
In a heavy bottomed 3-quart saucepan, sauté the garlic and red pepper in olive oil until cloves are soft and barely coloring on both sides. Use a wooden spoon to press them into the oil a few times to release their flavor. Discard the garlic, its chore is done.
Add the cubed squash or pumpkin and sprinkle with a little salt and the rosemary needles. Raise the heat to medium-high and sauté until squash is fork soft, about 15 minutes. If using pumpkin, it will take about 25 minutes.
Add 5-6 cups of hot water and adjust seasoning. Cover the pot, and bring to a rolling boil.
Stir in the broken pasta, re-cover the pot and when it returns to a boil, uncover and cook the pasta in the soup until al dente. While the pasta cooks, stir frequently and mash some of the pumpkin cubes with the back of a wooden spoon to thicken the dish.
Taste for salt and correct if necessary. Tweak the consistency, if desired, by adding more water. It can be soupy, thick or almost dry, depending on your taste.
Stir in more pepper flakes if necessary, and serve hot. Pass the Parmigiano and watch the smiles surface.
|the finished dish|
|fun serving solution|