LUCY BURDETTE: Suppose you have a hankering for a side dish for the holiday that’s a little different, but keeps the spirit too? And suppose you have vegetarian guests coming who won’t share in the turkey? Here’s an unusual autumn recipe that might solve both problems. I happened to have both gorgeous sage and leeks in my garden when I first tried this, but grocery store sage will work fine too...
1 medium butternut squash,
8-12 fresh sage leaves, stems discarded
3 medium or 2 large leeks, cleaned and finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 lb rotini or penne
1 cup chicken broth
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to serve on the side
Cut the squash open, seed it, and cut into slices. Place this on a baking pan with the garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until soft and just beginning to turn golden. Cool and peel, then process the vegetables in a food processor until smooth, along with 1/2 cup chicken broth. Keep this warm.
While the squash is baking, sauté leeks in olive oil until soft and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the prepared squash to the pan and simmer over low heat, about two minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Cook rotini in a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente.
While pasta is cooking, heat vegetable oil in an 8- to 9-inch skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Add the sage leaves and fry until crisp but still green, under 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Drain the pasta and add this to the squash mixture in a large bowl, thinning with warm chicken broth if it's too thick. Decorate with a few of the fried sage leaves, and serve the others on the side with extra cheese.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
We’re so thankful to all of our readers who visit Mystery Lovers Kitchen and share our love for food, mysteries, and foodie mysteries. So we’re celebrating you, our fans and friends, by giving away a book. I’ll send out a copy of DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS to one commenter. Tell me the one Thanksgiving dish you can't live without. Remember to leave your email.
The new book is hitting bookshelves on December 2--you can preorder here. I'm utterly thrilled with the first book review, from Booklist:
Burdette infuses the mystery with Key West spirit and holiday fun along with delicious food references and recipes. This strong series continues a unique blend of island mayhem and sparkling characters surrounding a layered mystery.
And if you haven’t settled on your Thanksgiving menu yet, visit our page chock full of Thanksgiving recipes: Savor the Season!