Easy Winter Squash & 'Nduja Pasta
In this recipe, the invention of our kids Laurel and Aaron, the spice of ’nduja plays against sweet winter squash and bright arugula in a sturdy, weeknight-friendly pasta dish. Add a can of chickpeas or white beans for extra protein sprinkle with lemon zest and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and dinner is on the table.
Butternut squash or acorn squash, about 2 pounds, peeled and seeded
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound short, sturdy pasta such as rigatoni
La Quercia ‘Nduja Americana (4-5 oz)
1 handful baby arugula (optional)
1 can of chickpeas or white beans, drained (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Heat oven to 400°F. Dice the squash into bite-sized cubes. On a baking sheet, toss cubed squash with one tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender throughout and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is al dente, reserve 1 cup of cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander. Return the pot to the stove and place over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsps of olive oil and ’nduja, stirring to break up clumps. When oil has taken on the color of the ‘nduja and is beginning to sizzle, add chickpeas, stirring to coat. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Return pasta to pot, tossing to combine. A little at a time, splash in reserved pasta water to thin ’nduja into a sauce that coats the pasta. Stir in roasted squash. At the last moment, stir in arugula. Serve with dusting of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a scatter of lemon zest.