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Wine Country Recipe ~ Cavatelli with Spicy Winter Squash

October 15th, 2015

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This pasta dish looks delish!  Utilize winter squash such as butternut, hubbard or pumpkin squash for this healthy, hearty vegetarian quick dish.  Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sangiovese.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

2 pounds butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds cavatelli or small shells

3/4 cup freshly grated caciocavallo, pecorino or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Instructions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and onion are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the cavatelli to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the cavatelli to the squash mixture in the skillet, then stir in 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and toss gently to combine. Add the 3/4 cup of caciocavallo, season with salt and pepper and stir gently; add a little more pasta water if necessary. Serve the pasta right away, passing more cheese at the table.  Pairs well with Sangiovese.

Suggested Pairings:

Danza Del Sol Winery ~ 2011 Sangiovese – Wild berry and tart cherry aromas have a hint of sweet pipe tobacco. Flavors of plum and mulberry are deepened with a note of black tea.

Frangipani Estate Winery ~ 2012 Estate Sangiovese – A 100% Sangiovese with aromas and tastes of black cherry, black currant, mulberry, plum fruit.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2012 Sangiovese – Subtle aromas of toffee and fresh berries with distinctive notes of cherry and raspberry. A hint of vanilla adds a lingering soft finish.

Wiens Family Cellars ~ 2013 Sangiovese – Bright notes of mineral and red licorice transition into a concentrated core of spiced plum and chocolate cake riding over soft, yet substantial tannins.

Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali / Food & Wine

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