When the first snow hits, there is nothing more exciting than waking up early, packing a car, and heading up north to hit the slopes for the weekend. As youngsters, we loved trips to Tenney Mountain. Geared up in full snow pant suits with our pockets filled with mini candy bars (thanks Dad), we cruised down the mountain with our braids flapping and the wind gusts inevitably burning our cheeks.
After a day full of runs and braving the cold, there is nothing more satisfying than returning to a warm cabin, heating up with some hot chocolate (or now, hot toddies) in front of a fire, and preparing a big dinner. With our family in Tenney Mountain, bubbly cheese fondue was traditionally the featured dish.
This past weekend, we headed up to Quechee, Vermont with some friends. Post ski, we stopped into the Longtrail Brewery to sample some of their spectacular hand-crafted brews. Then we dropped into Woodstock’s local market to grab some dinner groceries. To accompany a juicy roasted chicken, we decided to try this new take on pasta.
Gemelli with Sage, Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese
3 T EVOO
1 butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red onion cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 T unsalted butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 lbs gemelli pasta (1 1/2 boxes)
4 oz herbed goat cheese
salt and pepper throughout
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss 2 T EVOO, butternut squash, red onion and salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread on a large baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes until the vegetables are slightly golden and tender.
When the squash is just about done baking, boil the salted water for the pasta. In a deep saute pan over low heat, melt the butter and 1 T EVOO, then saute the garlic and sage for 15-20 minutes. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Turn up the heat to low-medium in the large saute pan, add the roasted vegetables and saute for a few more minutes. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain it and add it to the saute pan along with the goat cheese, 1 ladle full of reserved pasta water, salt and pepper. Stir until the goat cheese is melted and everything is incorporated. Serves 6.
The sweet, hearty pasta dish is great for a crowd. It is easy to prepare and can be served right off the stove or at room temperature.