This month, we are learning and experimenting with new ingredients, so that we can expand our food repertoire and discover new tastes and textures. Today, we are featuring pappardelle, a wide Italian noodle, in a comforting and hearty pasta dish.
There are so many pastas and pasta shapes to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming at times. Perhaps you already have your favorites that are on constant rotation – spaghetti, linguine, elbow macaroni, penne, to name a few.
“One of my favorite Cook Smarts meals. Simple yet really delicious and unique.” -Corey
However, pappardelle is often overlooked. True, it might not be as readily available as the other more popular pastas, but it is definitely worth trying if you find it. Pappardelle is a flat pasta cut into wide ribbons with either a fluted or a straight edge, and the width is somewhere between tagliatelle and lasagna.
Pappardelle, like most Italian pastas, are usually made with an egg-based dough, which makes the pasta richer and fluffier. While any type of flour may be used, durum wheat helps pastas hold their shape and keeps them firm even when slightly overcooked.
“My husband and I loved this dish; the combination of roasted squash, Parmesan and pine nuts was delicious.” -Paige
The name “pappardelle” comes from the Italian word “pappare,” which means “to gobble up.” The name speaks for itself, especially with our recipe, which is tossed with roasted butternut squash, balsamic onions, and pine nuts. While pappardelle’s broad shape is perfect for thick sauces and makes for a hearty meal, we keep things simple so the flavor of each ingredient will stand out.
The addition of butternut squash makes this dish very filling, since squash is filled with fiber. By roasting the butternut squash, the sugars are caramelized, bringing out the sweetness of the squash. We enhance them even more with a splash of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.
“Very delicious and simple to make, and I loved the onions.” -Christopher
Cubing the butternut squash and slicing the onions can be done 3 days ahead of time. Here’s how:
The butternut squash can be roasted 5 days earlier. They also freeze well, so roast more at one time and save them for other uses. Check out our simple method of roasting vegetables here:
Use a saute pan to caramelize the onions and toss all the ingredients together.
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The many varieties of pastas have different characteristics. For example, tube pastas and pastas with lines hold sauces better. While pappardelle is also absorbent and sturdy enough to hold sauces, it might not work as well for baked dishes. They are too wide for casseroles and too narrow for lasagna.
If you cannot find pappardelle, no worries! Substitute with linguine or fettuccine, and you will still get all the incredible flavors and textures of this dish.
- Butternut squash – 1 , peeled & cubed
- Red onions – 1, sliced
- Balsamic vinegar – 2 tbs. + 2 tbs.
- Maple syrup – 2 tbs. + 1 tbs.
- Olive oil – 2 tbs.
- Pappardelle – ⅔ lb. (or linguine or fettuccine)
- Butter – 2 tbs.
- Pine nuts – ¼ cup
- Parmesan cheese – ¼ cup, grated
- Butternut squash / Onions – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Roast butternut squash – Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together first part of balsamic vinegar, first part of maple syrup, and olive oil. Toss with cubed butternut squash directly on a sheet pan, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until golden on the outside or tender. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Salt heavily (that water should taste like the ocean!) and add pasta. Cook according to package instructions. Before draining, save 1 cup pasta water.
- Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add butter and then onions to melted butter with a dash of salt. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes and then add second part of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in pasta and then toss with reserved pasta water. The starch from the pasta water should create a nice sauce. Add in pine nuts, roasted butternut squash, and parmesan. Cook until everything is warmed through.