I’m a carb loader if you’ve ever seen one and pasta is my pleasure (read: weakness). While I’ve become famous among family and friends for my outrageously decadent Pulled Pork Mac n’ Cheese, I recently decided to craft a similarly satisfying dish utilizing considerably less dairy. I’ve swapped out the classic béchamel for a velouté (adding stock to my roux rather than milk or cream) and adding nutritious heft to the sauce with pureed butternut squash.
Make sure to invest in high quality pasta as you’ll taste the difference when al dente. Catelli has been a favourite with Canadian families for more than 145 years, made from high quality durum semolina and featuring 28 cuts from rigatoni to penne rigate. Once you’ve tossed your steaming pasta in sweet sauce top it off with crispy prosciutto, roasted pecans, and aromatic fried sage. You’ll half your calories while still satiating your comfort food cravings.
4 cups Catelli Rigatoni
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
1 small onion minced
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 litre of chicken or mushroom stock
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup pureed roasted butternut squash
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup vermouth or sherry
1 cup pecans
10 fresh sage leaves
8 slices of prosciutto
Boil rigatoni until al dente. Set aside once strained in your sink.
In a large frying pan flash fry strips of prosciutto on medium-high heat until nicely browned. Let cool and then slice into thin strips.
In a large frying pan roast pecans on medium heat until nicely browned. Set aside and let cool.
In a small frying pan add a small dab of butter and melt on medium heat. Add fresh sage leaves and fry until they are crispy. Let cool and set aside.
In a small frying pan add olive oil, onion and garlic and heat for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring until nicely browned.
In a large frying pan on medium heat add butter and once melted gently whisk flour until it forms a roux. Slowly add stock, constantly stirring with your whisk to ensure no globules form. Add the garlic/onion mixture to your roux along with honey, nutmeg, squash, worcestershire sauce, vermouth and salt/pepper to taste.
Add cooked rigatoni to the squash sauce, gently toss then spoon pasta into bowls. Top pasta with prosciutto, crispy sage, and roasted pecans.