Monday, July 9, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in Pistachio Cream Sauce

This week I am posting a couple of recipes highlighting fresh packaged pastas from Buitoni.  The fine folks at Buitoni recently contacted me to let me know they were launching two new pastas in New England and to ask me if I would be interested in showcasing them in Just One Donna recipes.  I jumped at the opportunity, mainly because it would be an opportunity to demonstrate how quality prepackaged foods can help all of us to prepare knock your socks off dishes for our families and friends.
Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in Pistachio Cream Sauce
Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in a Pistachio Cream Sauce

This post is sponsored by Buitoni.  I was given coupons with which I was able to purchase the Buitoni Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti pasta used in today's recipe for free from my local grocery store.  As a thank you, Buitoni also sent me a cutting board, an apron and a kitchen towel.  The recipe is mine, as is my opinion about the pasta.

Butternut squash soup is a favorite of mine.  I make it all the time during the fall and winter months of the year.  It warms my insides and soothes my spirit.  I guess you could call it a comfort food.  When I heard that one of Buitoni's new pastas was a Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti I was intrigued.  The Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti is filled with oven roasted butternut squash, impastata ricotta, aged Parmesan and grana padano cheeses accented with amaretti cookie crumbs.  Sounds yummy, right?  I couldn't wait to get started on a recipe.

A few years ago, one of my brothers brought a delicious butternut squash soup to a holiday dinner.  It was memorable in that it was garnished perfectly with chopped pistachio nuts.  The memory of that soup inspired today's recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in a Pistachio Cream Sauce.  Don't worry, it nearly took me as long to write out the title of the recipe as it took to prepare this dish.  The ingredients are simple and the packaged Buitoni pasta makes the preparation as easy as one, two three.

At first I envisioned this recipe as an appetizer, or first course, paired with a crisp Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.  I was worried that the sweetness of the butternut squash might be too overwhelming as an entree.  Fear not, friends.  What started as an appetizer turned into a main dish for Hubby and me.  We loved it that much!

Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in a Pistachio Cream Sauce

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 5 as an appetizer
Serves 2 as a main dish
The Simple Ingredients
The Simple Ingredients
  • 1 package Buitoni Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of coarsely chopped pistachio nuts, for garnish

Make sure you have all of the ingredients at the ready for this recipe.  It is made in about 6 minutes once the pasta water comes to a boil.  Finely chop the pistachio nuts in a mini chopper or food processor.  You'll want the chopped pistachios to resemble a fine sand.
Finely ground pistachios.
The Ground Pistachio Nuts

Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil.  Following the Buitoni package directions, cook the pasta in gently boiling water for 4 minutes.
While the pasta water is coming to a boil, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent.  Add a pinch of red pepper flakes.  (Please don't leave this out.  The red pepper flakes add a depth of subtle flavor and heat that enhances the flavor.)  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the chopped pistachio nuts to the pan, stirring to combine.  Add a little more olive oil, if necessary, to make a paste consistency.

Pour the heavy cream into the pan stirring to combine.  Add the Parmesan cheese and parsley.  Heat the mixture gently.

Making the pistachio cream sauce.
Add the Cream
At this point the pasta should be done cooking.  Scoop the pasta from the water and transfer it directly to the sauce in the pan.  Toss the sauce and pasta gently.   Sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve three butternut pastas topped with additional chopped pistachio nuts and Parmesan cheese per person for an appetizer.  Pair the pasta with a crisp Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pistachio Cream Sauce Appetizer
Roasted Butternut Squash and Pistachio Cream Sauce Appetizer
  This pasta is so delicious, three just won't be enough.  You might want to make a double batch!

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Buitoni, provided coupons to allow me to try their packaged pasta for free.

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