Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Pairing pasta with vegetables is typical in Italian cuisine. This recipe combines pasta and zucca (butternut squash or winter squash). The pasta is not cooked separately but rather with the squash allowing it to absorb all the flavors. Read the recipe for this soupy and delicious dish!
400 gr / 14 oz small pasta (ditalini or spaghetti broken into short lengths work well, but anything that is small enough to fit on a spoon and in your mouth)
2 lbs of winter squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (not chopped!)
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 long fresh red chili pepper sliced ( optional)
½ cup parsley finely chopped
1 handful coarse sea salt
Fine salt & black ground pepper
In a large pot, sauté the garlic, red pepper flakes and fresh hot pepper in olive oil over medium heat. If you prefer not to eat the garlic and/or pepper, remove them after sautéing.
Add the squash and braise for about 5 minutes, until squash absorbs all the flavors. When squash is softened, add just enough water to cover it, then let simmer. After 10-15 minutes of simmering, add more water and cover the pot to bring it to the boil. Once boiling again, add coarse sea salt and the pasta. Add more hot water if needed, enough to cover pasta with the squash, or about 3-4 inches. Simmer the pasta until it has absorbed most of the water, stirring occasionally. Add hot water if the pasta is not cooked and the soup gets too dry. Be sure not to add too much water. The consistency of the soup should be quite thick and not too watery.
When the pasta is al dente – check by tasting – serve in a bowl and garnish with parsley. Add salt and olive oil to taste. Serve warm.
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