COOKING WITH THE CHARLES FAMILY: A big bowl of warming comfort food

Winter squash linguine with fried sage
Winter squash linguine with fried sage

Winter squash linguine with fried sage

This was one of the first dishes we ever served to people other than friends and family. To hear and see strangers enjoying your food and tell you how much they enjoyed it was amazing, so hopefully you will all enjoy it too.

Winter squash linguine with fried sage

Winter squash linguine with fried sage

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 nice size sage leaves

1kg butternut or winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Littlest pinch of chilli flakes

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

500ml vegetable stock

350g whole grain linguine

100g goats cheese (optional)

METHOD

1. Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the sage and toss to coat. Let the sage get crispy before transferring it to a small bowl. Sprinkle it lightly with salt and set the bowl aside.

2. Add the squash, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about eight to 10 minutes. Add the stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is soft and the liquid is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions, stirring occasionally. Reserve one cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.

4. Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and add the goats cheese, keeping the pan handy.

Purée the mixture using a blender until smooth, then season.

5. In the reserved pan, combine the pasta, squash purée and ¼ cup cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking water as needed, until the sauce coats the pasta, about two minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.

6. Serve in pasta bowls, top with the fried sage and a shaving of pecorino.