PASTA WITH MISO SQUASH
- 1 small (12 to 16 ounces) butternut squash, poked with several holes
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1 box paccheri, rigatoni or other large, tubular dried pasta
- 2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 very small onion or large shallot lobe, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 4 teaspoon red miso
- 1 tablespoon roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish (optional)
- 1/4 white wine
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put the squash on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes.
Transfer the squash to an aluminum foil-lined baking dish; roast 25 to 35 minutes. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy matter. Use a spoon to remove the flesh from the skin; discard the skin. Reserve ½ cup of the flesh for this dish and refrigerate the remainder in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, then use a strainer (such as a Chinese skimmer) to drain and transfer it to a serving bowl. Reserve the pasta cooking water.
Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onion or shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the miso, the ½ cup of squash flesh and ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water, stirring to combine. Cook for a minute or two. Season with salt to taste; add more of the reserved cooking water and white wine to achieve a thinner consistency. Spoon sauce over the pasta, tossing gently to work some of the sauce inside the pasta. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and cheese, if using, and eat.