PASTA WITH CABBAGE, WINTER SQUASH AND WALNUTS

Pasta with Cabbage, Winter Squash and Walnuts, Dorie Greenspan

Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman

To the hundreds of thousands who follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, Dorie Greenspan’s food is powerfully cookable—her recipes instant classics. In Everyday Dorie, she invites readers into her kitchen to savour the dishes that she makes all the time, from Miso-Glazed Salmon to Lemon Goop.

What makes a “Dorie recipe”?

Each one has a small surprise that makes it special. Mustard and walnuts in the cheese puffs. Cherry tomatoes stuffed into red bell peppers and oven-charred. Cannellini beans in cod en papillote. The dishes are practical, made with common ingredients from the supermarket, farmers’ market, or pantry, like Sweet Chili Chicken Thighs, which is both weeknight simple and fine enough for company, and Eton Mess, a beautifully casual dessert of crumbled meringue, fruit, and whipped cream. They are easygoing, providing swaps and substitutions. They invite mixing and matching. Many can be served as dinner, or as a side dish, or as an appetizer, or hot, cold, or room temperature. And every single one is like a best friend in the kitchen, full of Dorie’s infectious love of cooking and her trademark hand-holding directions.

Dorie Greenspan, a columnist for the New York Times Magazine, was inducted into the James Beard Who,s Who of Food & Beverage in America and has won five James Beard Awards and two Cookbook of the Year Awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Her thirteen cookbooks include Dorie’s Cookies and Baking Chez Moi, both New York Times bestsellers, Around My French Table and Baking: From My Home to Yours. She lives in New York City; Westbrook, Connecticut; and Paris. Visit doriegreenspan.com

Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.


Pasta with Cabbage, Winter Squash and Walnuts

Makes 4 servings

Some dishes take days of planning and some just pop into your head while you’re fretting that there’s nothing in the house for dinner. This was such a dish. I’d left planning to well after the last minute, so I had to scramble and make do with whatever I could forage in the fridge. It turned out there were hunks of cabbage and squash and a piece of Parmesan. Since there’s always pasta, there was dinner, a scrambler’s dinner that turned into a dish worthy of being made “on purpose.”

This is a good dish to prep with a mandoline, like a Benriner, or the slicing blade of a food processor, although you can cut the cabbage into shreds by hand and, if you’d like, you can cut the squash into small cubes instead of slicing it. I’ve given you measurements, but there’s no need to be precise—a little more or a little less doesn’t matter. As for the pasta, go with what you’ve got.

The secret to the dish’s flavour is the vinegar. Cider vinegar is best, but again, this is a pickup dinner, so pick up what you’ve got. Just make sure to cook it down so that you get its flavour, not its bite. Oh, and there’s another surprise ingredient: dried cranberries—there for tartness, colour and chew.

 

½ pound (227 grams) winter squash, such as Delicata, Kabocha, acorn or butternut, scrubbed or peeled, as you like

¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, or a little more

Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1½ teaspoons honey

½ pound (227 grams) linguine or other long pasta

¼ cup (30 grams) dried cranberries

½ pound (227 grams) green cabbage, trimmed, cored and shredded (about 2 lightly packed cups)

¼ cup (30 grams) walnut pieces, toasted, if you’d like

Freshly grated Parmesan, for sprinkling

 

  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and strings (discard the seeds or clean and roast).
  2. Thinly slice or cut into cubes (see headnote). You’ll have about 2 lightly packed cups.
  3. Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large high-sided skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. Toss in the squash, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until it is almost tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and cook until it is absorbed by the squash—this is quick. Add the honey and stir to coat, then scrape the squash into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta according to package directions. About a minute before the pasta is ready, toss the dried cranberries into the pot. When the pasta is cooked, scoop out ¼ cup of the cooking water and set aside, then drain the pasta, leaving a little water clinging to the strands.
  5. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil, toss in the cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Pour in the reserved pasta water and cook for a minute, then add the pasta and cranberries and stir it all around. Mix in the squash and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Taste for salt and pepper and see if you want to add a bit more oil.
  6. Transfer to a warm bowl or leave the pasta in the skillet to serve, topped with the walnuts and Parmesan.

STORING: The dish is really best served as soon as it’s made.

PASTA WITH CABBAGE, WINTER SQUASH AND WALNUTS is excerpted from EVERYDAY DORIE © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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