- 1 medium Robin's Koginut squash (or a butternut)
- 1 medium shallot or two small shallots
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons marsala wine
- ½ cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅔ cup pine nuts
- 1 pound fresh pappardelle (from Lagana Pasta if you can find it)
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 5 ounces soft, mild blue cheese (such as Glacier Blue from Cascadia Creamery)
- 8 ounces of Drifters Fish Smoked Salmon
- Peel and de-seed the squash, and cut into roughly 2cm (1-inch) cubes.
- Peel and finely chop the shallot and sauté in the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan that can accommodate the pasta later (like a Le Creuset or large cast iron skillet). When the onion starts to become golden, add the paprika and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.
- Add in the cubes of butternut squash and then add the butter, folding everything together in the pan. Once the squash is covered with the oniony oil and butter, add the marsala and water. Let the pan come to a low boil, then put the lid on, turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender (not mushy though! Start to test the softness of the squash about 10 minutes in).
- While the squash is cooking, finely chop the sage leaves and crumble the cheese onto a plate.
- Next, put a large pan of water on for the pasta, adding salt only when it comes to the boil; and toast the pine nuts separately in a hot, dry pan until nuts are golden (keep an eye, they will burn quickly), then pour them into a bowl or plate to cool.
- Once the squash is ready, season to taste with salt and pepper (remember also that the salmon and blue cheese will add a bit of saltiness). Take the squash off the heat and set on another cool burner until the pappardelle has been cooked.
- Cook the pasta according to instructions (fresh pasta will only take minutes), and let it remain a bit dense -- not too soft. Swirl the pasta around with a wooden spoon every now and then to loosen the noodles.
Sprinkle most of the sage over the squash, keeping some back for a chef's kiss, and give a quick stir.
- Before you drain the pappardelle, lower a mug and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water, then drain the pasta and add into the resting sage-sprinkled squash pan. Slowly turn the pasta in the sauce to combine (or mix everything in a large warmed bowl if you've run out of room!). If you find the sauce too dry, or if it all needs a little help coming together, add some of the pasta-cooking water - the starch in it encourages the sauce to emulsify, the better to cling to the pasta.
- With pasta and squash mixture combined, drop chunks of the salmon and crumbled cheese and about a half of the pine nuts, then gently fold, before sprinkling the other half of the pine nuts, a few bits of cheese and salmon and the reserved chopped sage on top.