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Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Pesto

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • Butternut squash:
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice

  • Pesto:
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, washed and dried, stems removed
  • ¼ cup mint, washed and dried, stems removed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more to taste

  • 2 pounds whole wheat Spaghetti


Procedures:

To cook squash: Place the squash in a steamer for 15 minutes.

To prepare the pesto: In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add garlic, hazelnuts, parsley and sage. Process by pulsing until the mixture resembles a rough chop, about 1 minute. Add olive oil in a steady steam and process to a smooth paste. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and use a silicone spatula to mix in Parmesan cheese and vinegar, stirring until well combined. Taste and season with salt, pepper and more vinegar as needed.

To cook pasta: Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Add enough kosher salt to season the water to taste like sea water. Add pasta and stir immediately to prevent pasta from sticking together. Boil until pasta is al dente, 6-8 minutes.

To serve: Transfer cooked pasta to the bowl with the pesto, add the squash and toss to combine, using the reserved pasta water to thin the mixture as needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta between 4 warm pasta bowls and serve.

by Joel Gamoran, Sur La Table National Chef

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