These days, hard squash are all I am thinking about. You should be thinking about them too. I make these recipes several times each fall, and I am sure you will love them. Be sure to make a double batch of the Bolognese—it’s that good.
Spaghetti Squash Crumble
2 medium sized spaghetti squash
4 T. minced parsley
1 T. fresh thyme leaves
1 c. fresh bread crumbs
8 oz. melted butter
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground allspice
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 c. minced shallots
3 minced garlic cloves
1 c. diced tomato, drained
2/3 c. ground Pecorino Romano . . .Get a good one—not some cheap supermarket wannabe.
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. thinly sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Split, butter, season, and roast the halved spaghetti squash in a large shallow baking dish for 90 minutes at 325 degrees or until tender.
Cool and scrape the flesh into a large mixing bowl.
Sauté the shallots and garlic in 2 T. of the butter until translucent. Add to the squash. Then add all the herbs and spices, the tomato, and half of the remaining butter. Fold together. Season and reserve.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the remaining butter, the bread crumbs, the cheese, the nuts, and the brown sugar. Place the squash mixture in a large oval or rectangular baking dish and sprinkle the ‘crumble’ over the top. Cover loosely in aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 325.
Remove the foil and raise temperature to 375. Cook until ‘crumble’ is crispy, then serve.
Pasta Bolognese with Veal and Butternut Squash
2 lbs. cubed fresh veal shoulder or veal leg*
4 T. olive oil
4 slices Nueskes Bacon, minced
32 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
4 c. dry red wine
1 qt. beef stock or rich chicken stock
Bouquet garni of fresh sage, parsley, and bay
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil
1/2 t. dried red chili flakes
1 c. minced carrots
1 c. minced celery
3 T. sliced garlic cloves
1 c. minced onions
1 c. heavy cream, plus some more in reserve
2 c. quarter-inch diced butternut squash or other hard squash varietal
Place the olive oil and the bacon in a large pot over medium heat. When bacon is crisped and rendered, add the veal. Brown veal and add the herbs, celery, onion, carrot, and garlic. Sauté for 4–5 minutes and add the wine.
Reduce by half at a simmer. Add the tomatoes and reduce liquids by half again. Add the stock and, simmering, cook for 10–15 minutes.
Add the squash pieces and continue simmering for 20–25 minutes
Add the cream, bring to a strong simmer, and continue cooking until sauce has thickened.
Season and taste for ‘cream richness.’ If you like, add some more. Be sure the squash is fork-tender as well. Remove bouquet garni and discard. Serve over your favorite sturdy pasta, such as rigatoni, ziti, or penne.
*I love making this dish a little lustier by making it with 4-lb. osso buco (portioned veal shank with marrow bone attached) instead of cubed veal. Just increase your cooking time to tenderize the osso buco and increase your stock so you are not boiling away too much liquid.