September 20, 2009

Orzo with Roasted Buttercup Squash and Broccoli Rabe

Fall is almost here, and I want comfort food. This dish takes advantage of the beautiful fall/winter squash showing up at farmers' markets these days, and makes a nice light dinner with a salad (we had heirloom tomatoes with parsley and XVOO). It would also be a great side dish. Any firm-fleshed squash will work: buttercup, butternut, acorn, delicata, etc. For the green component, kale, spinach, or Swiss chard could be substituted for the broccoli rabe.

1 2-pound winter squash
1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1-1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
3-1/2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 cup orzo pasta
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
Sea salt
Black pepper
  • Preheat oven too 400 degrees F.
  • Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds and pulp (save the seeds for roasting). Cut squash into wedges leaving skin on (if buttercup, acorn, or other thick-skinned varieties), or peel and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (if using butternut or delicata). Toss the squash with 2 Tbsp XVOO, pinch of sea salt, and pinch of pepper in a bowl and transfer to a baking dish. Roast at 400 F for about 25 minutes, until tender and golden brown. If squash was roasted with skin on, remove skin with a paring knife and cut into 1/2-inch chunks.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp XVOO in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add broccoli rabe and a pinch of salt, and saute for about 5 minutes. Cover and cook an additional 5 minutes until broccoli rabe is tender.
  • Saute onion with a pinch of salt in 1 Tbsp XVOO for 5 minutes. Add minced rosemary and saute for another minute.
  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in a pot, add orzo and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (al dente).
  • Add squash, broccoli rabe, onion and rosemary mixture, toasted pine nuts, and grated parmigiano to pot with orzo. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve as is, or transfer to a baking dish, top with a bit more parmigiano, and broil for 5 minutes until top is golden.

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