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Asha's Spiced Squash Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Gremolata

Recipe by: Asha Loupy

Serves: 4

Asha's Spiced Squash Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Gremolata
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

Before you look at me askance at the thought of “pumpkin spice pasta,” hear me out. Half moons of delicata squash get tossed with our house Pumpkin Spice Masala — enhancing its deep, rich flavor — some finely chopped rosemary and Sirārakhong Hāthei Chillies, which steers the dish towards savory with a kiss of smoky heat. After roasting to caramelized perfection, the squash is tossed with egg tagliatelle, browned butter, shallots, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. For added verdant freshness and textural magic, it’s topped with a gremolata of roasted pumpkin seeds, parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. You want a bowl, right?

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Ingredients

  • 2 small-to-medium delicata squash (about 1¼ to 1½ pounds total)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1¼ teaspoons Pumpkin Spice Masala
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon Surya Salt, plus more
  • ½ teaspoon powdered Sirārakhong Hāthei Chillies
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • One 8.8-package dried egg tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Methods

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. To prepare the delicate squash, cut ¼-inch slice off the top and bottom and discard. Then, slice ½-inch thick rings. Using a spoon, scrape along the inner flesh to remove the seeds and membrane, discarding the innards or saving the seeds for another use. Alternatively, you can cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and slice them into ½-inch half moons.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, chopped rosemary, pumpkin spice masala, ¾ teaspoon Diamond Crystal or ½ teaspoons Surya Salt, and Sirārakhong Hāthei chillies. Add the sliced and cleaned squash and gently toss to coat in the spiced oil mixture. Transfer the squash to a baking sheet, arranging the pieces in a single layer. Roast until the squash is tender and the side is deeply golden and caramelized, 18 to 24 minutes. While the squash is roasting, bring a large pot of abundantly salted water to boil over high heat.
  4. While the water is coming to a boil, make the gremolata. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest off the lemon (use light pressure here and try to remove as little as the bitter, white pith as possible). Stack the strips of lemon zest and thinly slice them lengthwise, then turn and thinly slice those strips crosswise to create a fine mince. Reserve the lemon for juicing later. Place the parsley leaves, pumpkin seeds, and garlic on top of the chopped lemon zest and run your knife through the mixture until everything is finely chopped and combined well. Set aside.
  5. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids start to turn golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shallots, and sauté until the shallots soften and start to turn light brown around the edges, 4 to 7 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and keep warm.
  6. When the shallots are cooked, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water.
  7. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the brown butter-shallot mixture and return the pan to medium-low heat. Add the pasta and slowly start to sprinkle in the grated cheese, stirring vigorously, until all the cheese is incorporated and the sauce is clinging to the pasta, but slightly pooling in the bottom of the pan. If the sauce is starting to look a little dry when you are adding the cheese, alternate adding in some extra splashes of the reserved pasta cooking water. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze half the lemon into the pasta, tossing to combine, taste, and adjust salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Add the roasted squash and gently toss, being careful not to break up half moons.
  8. To serve, transfer to a serving platter or individual shallow bowls and garnish with desired amount of the pumpkin seed gremolata.
     

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