I love when the cooler weather rolls around and I don’t have to feel guilty about cooking with some of my favorite rustic flavors. While we have almost everything readily available to us these days whether in season or not, I feel really awkward baking a pumpkin pie in 90 degree weather. So although we don’t get much of a cold front during fall / winter here in Florida, we definitely get a break from the savage humidity that haunts us the other ten months of the year. And now is that time..
So I’m pulling out all the stops and blending flavors that I love together for some good ol’ fashioned home-cooked love. I really love cooking from my cook books (I have so many) but I always end up going off-script and adding my own little touches. This Butternut Squash with Prawns recipe is just perfect for adding some Parmigiano Reggiano. I learned all about adding #theonlyparmesan to unexpected dishes at the culinary academy cooking classes at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Very fun, very informative, insanely delicious!
I started with fresh butternut squash, a decent size, peeled it, took out the seeds, and cut into one-inch squares. Saute that up in some garlic and olive oil until golden, and add some vegetable broth. Cover and let it simmer until tender, but first take a whiff.. Mmmm.
After that’s all done, take the mixture and drop it into your food processor and give it a whirl, until it’s thick and creamy. Smell that? It tastes even better!
Boil a pot of pasta – in this case Rigatoni, I like the way the sauce gets trapped into the noodles and then burst in your mouth like a butternut squash surprise! This is usually around the time I season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then saute them about three minutes on each side.
Just until they are pink, then set them aside. Once that pasta is cooked al dente, I add the butternut squash puree and stir in the hot-pot with the burner on low.
Add in the milk, grated Parmigiano Reggiano from the wheel of goodness, basil, and sautéed shrimp. Folding the shrimp in gently, you can add any salt and pepper to your taste. Serve it up and listen to the silence at your dinner table. My boys love this recipe and it has become a staple for us.
Parmesan literally means “from Parma” this is how you know the parmesan cheese you are tasting is authentic, there can only be one parmesan! Parmigiano Reggiano from any producer are all equally good as they are all certified by the consortia who controls every single wheel from each producer. Generally in the US you will find them unbranded as they are often cut from the whole wheel at the store and then wrapped there. You can find “the only parmesan” at your local cheese shop, Whole Foods, Costco, and some larger grocers.