Pasta with Butternut Squash and Walnut-Parsley Sauce

  • 1 ¼ cups walnut pieces
  • 2-3 medium-large garlic cloves, blanched in boiling water for 2-3 minutes
  • 5 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB walnut oil
  • 5 TB crème fraiche
  • 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½” slices
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb pasta, pappardelle or other wide ribbons
  • Salt, freshly ground pepper and freshly ground nutmeg to taste
  • Parmesan Reggiano cheese, freshly grated

Toast the walnuts in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for a few minutes or in a pan on stovetop. Rub them in a dry towel to remove most of skins. Roughly chop 1/3 of the walnuts and set aside. Finely chop the rest of the walnuts and place in a bowl. Make a paste of the garlic cloves and add to bowl with 2 TB olive oil, the walnut oil and the crème fraiche. Whisk/stir to form a paste. Add 2/3 of the minced parsley. (can also be done in a food processor). Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium-large skillet over medium heat, add the squash and pepper flakes and cook for 10-12 minutes until tender and lightly browned on both sides. Meanwhile cook pasta. Drain, reserving 4-5 TB of the cooking water. Add enough of this water to the sauce to make a creamy consistency. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Toss the pasta with the squash, the remaining parsley and walnuts, and a little of the sauce. Top with parmesan and rest of the sauce at the table.

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