That is macarrones with acorn squash and (some) roasted garlic (adapted from Vegetarian Planet).
It certainly seemed simple enough when I put it on the week’s dinner list. Didn’t really turn out that way, though.
Roasted an acorn squash in a 375 degree oven for an hour. Easy enough.
Peeled 15 cloves of garlic. A pain in the ass, but it gave me an idea for my weekly Accidental Hedonist post, so that wasn’t so bad.
Roasted the cloves of garlic in six tablespoons of oil for the recommended “30 minutes or until lightly golden.” Well. After 30 minutes, the exposed half of the cloves were lightly golden. The half in the oil? Brown. Dark brown. And crunchy.
I put the oil and the garlic in a skillet and tasted one of the cloves. The golden part: aces. The brown part: just as bitter as I expected. So I stood and picked off all the burnt bits, off all 15 cloves of garlic, leaving me with less than half of what I started with.
I added about a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to compensate for the lack of garlic, and went to get the white wine.
No white wine.
I did have a dry(ish) rosÃ©, so I added 1/3 a cup of that to the oil and what was left of the garlic and brought it to a boil with about a cup of the pasta cooking water. (Surprisingly, cooking the pasta went off without a hitch.)
As it boiled, I skimmed off was left of the burnt garlic as it floated to the top (you so want to cook this now, don’t you?) and then added the scooped-out flesh from the squash. Brought it to a boil again, until it looked less wet and more like a sauce.
I added the pasta to the skillet â€” and quickly found my large skillet wasn’t all that large. Dumped the skillet contents (and what remained in the pasta pot) into a bowl, added about 2/3rds a cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and some salt, stirred, loosened it up a little with some pasta water, and served.
As you might guess, I didn’t really have great expectations for this pasta.
It was, in fact, completely delightful. The squash was creamy. Yes, it could have used more garlic, but what was there was nutty and sweet, and the cheese added a lovely, much needed sharp bite.
So, if I can just master a char-free method of roasting garlic, this recipe will have earned a rightful place in my standard repertoire.