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GEORGE'S RECIPE of THE MONTH.
Recipe_oct18
George_jr
George has had a love of all things culinary from a very young age, and throughout his career, has worked with renowned chefs and food technologists. He discovered his passion for cooking at the age of five after spending time in his grandmother's restaurant. From then on, under his mother's guidance (who is a talented cook of her own accord) George recalls cooking anything his mother would let him, starting out with scrambled eggs and hamburgers and quickly moving on to fine Italian and French dishes.
After many years of honing and perfecting his culinary craft, George still enjoys what he humbly considers: "complimenting my family culinary experience," by taking courses in regional cuisines pertaining to the vegetable ingredient products his family specializes in, namely: Asian, French, Mediterranean, Mexican and Tex Mex.
Because of George's extensive knowledge and passion for food, he is a great resource to customers in helping them find the right ingredients for their recipe needs. "I need to understand what's happening in the kitchen," he explained. "If my client has an unfavorable flavor note, I need to be able to assess the situation to understand why." That extra level of service and care undoubtedly stems from his love of food and his work alike, which fortunately for George, go hand and hand.
Ingredients
2.5 pounds butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into 3/4” cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups chicken stock
1 small onion, cut in half
1 fresh bay leaf
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
12 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup creme fraiche
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
Preparation
Print
1 - Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, combine half of the squash with a drizzle of olive oil. Season the the fresh nutmeg, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
2 - Meanwhile, combine the remaining squash, chicken stock, onion, bay leaf, garlic and salt to taste in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the onion and bay leaf and puree the mixture with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and process until smooth. The mixture will be loose, and should coat the back of a spoon.
3 - Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
4 - Place a small skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter melts and the foam subsides, add half of the sage leaves and fry until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel, and fry the remaining leaves. After removing the leaves from the butter, pour the butter into the squash puree and stir to combine.
5 - Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil, then add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook until the sausage is browned and cooked through.
6 - Reserve a mugful of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pan, then add the squash puree and the sausage. If needed, add some of the pasta water to loosen the sauce. Stir in the creme fraiche, then toss the pasta with the sauce for a minute or two so the flavors will be absorbed. Stir in the roasted squash.
7 - Serve the pasta topped with the crispy sage leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.
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