Pasta

A Quick & Easy Fall Sheet-Pan Pasta for Cozy Weeknights In

Comfort in both the cooking and the eating.

by:
October  1, 2018
Photo by Jenny Huang

Let's not beat around the pumpkin patch: It's fall. I have this obnoxious orange-yellow-beige-brown-green knitted, striped sweater I bring out whenever the weather even tries to be brisk. Here's how it goes down:

Weather: I think I'm going to be brisk today.

Me: Go ahead, Weather! I'm ready for your games (already wearing the sweater).

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Top Comment:
“Yes sweaters are wonderful but you need to wash the sweater - it needs it! And with a pup and years of wear it will be getting rougher, and worse. Be brave and go for it!! Going to try the recipe later. ”
— Michele
Comment

I wear this sweater so often but don't really know how to wash it without shrinking it, so it's probably pretty dirty right now. Oh, look! I'm wearing it again.

Photo by ASOS

It's the kind of sweater you'd want to go to work in, the kind you'd want to go on a date in, the kind you'd wear to Hobby Lobby, to Bed Bath & Beyond, and even to bed. Sure, I sleep in it; it's so soft and good to me, why wouldn't I?

On busy nights when all I want to do is wear my favorite sweater and carbo-load in front of the television with my 40-pound rescue pup in my lap, it helps to have a supper I can throw together without a second thought. Pasta is a good place to start (duh, it cooks fast). And the sheet pan method, where everything cooks at once in the same vessel, in the oven (out of sight, out of mind), means even the clumsiest cooks can manage.

Inspired by Amanda Hesser's Summer Weekend Pasta, I wanted to come up with a weeknight version for my favorite season. An ode to fall (as well to its briskness and efficiency), this easy dinner starts with a sheet pan of my favorite things to eat—guanciale (Italian cured pork jowl, the O.G. in authentic carbonara); sweet, caramelized butternut squash; and dark, iron-heavy Tuscan kale—which all get tossed into cooked orecchiette and grated over with salty Pecorino.

I wear this sweater so often but don't really know how to wash it without shrinking it, so it's probably pretty dirty right now.

This pasta makes enough for two servings (and if you look at the finished dish closely enough, you'll notice that it has the same colors as my sweater). If there are two of you, then good for you! But if you're like me, miserably happily alone, then pack half of it for lunch. "Tonight Lucullus is dining with Lucullus."

A note on guanciale: I love the fatty gaminess that crisped-up guanciale lends, but if you can't find the cheeky meat in your grocery store, then pancetta and bacon are perfectly delicious substitutes.

Do you have a sweater you love and wash very rarely? Let us know in the comments below.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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12 Comments

tastysweet October 7, 2018
If you want to make it for 4, does it easily double?
 
Author Comment
Eric K. October 7, 2018
Oh, easily. Just double the recipe! Let me know how it goes.
 
tastysweet October 7, 2018
Thanks. Will try the for 2 first.
 
Sylvia S. October 7, 2018
Sweaters need washing. Dirty sweaters wear out faster and it sounds like you'd cry if it wore out. What is it made of? <br /><br />If it's wool, then hand wash in warm (not super hot) water using any kind of mild detergent (Dawn dish soap is great because it is a super oil buster -- I use it in the lab to clean glass). Do not wring or rub. Squeezing is find. Rinse in the SAME temperature water that you wash it in. Temperature shock is what causes wool to shrink. Squeeze out and lay flat to dry. I have a mesh thing that fits over the bathtub but a towel will do. If you have a super mild agitator in your washing machine, or if you have a front loader, you can wash it in that with a couple of towels -- just make sure the wash temperature and the rinse temperature is the same and use the lowest spin. <br /><br />If your sweater is synthetic, just toss it in the washer and wash on gentle. Dry in the drier at a low temperature; otherwise, lay flat and dry. It should be fine.<br /><br />I'm a grandmother, too, and I knit also but I use synthetics for my grands because they complain about scratchy and they throw stuff in the drier.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. October 7, 2018
Sylvia, I must've torn off the tag, as I can't seem to identify what it's made of. Thank you so much for the sweater washing tips! Will hand wash as you said, just in case.
 
sue October 2, 2018
Find someone to knit you a new sweater. Grandmas love requests for hand-knit sweaters.<br /><br />(Full disclosure- I am a grandma who knits - watch out of my needles)
 
Author Comment
Eric K. October 2, 2018
Ha! Aw I’d love a sweater from you, Sue.
 
Michele October 1, 2018
Yes sweaters are wonderful but you need to wash the sweater - it needs it! And with a pup and years of wear it will be getting rougher, and worse. Be brave and go for it!!<br />Going to try the recipe later.<br />
 
sandy October 1, 2018
But handwash it, or better, yet send it to the dry cleaners!
 
Author Comment
Eric K. October 2, 2018
Great tips! Will handwash soon!
 
margaret S. October 7, 2018
You can wash it with anything you’d use to wash your hair. Cool<br />water. Do not twist or wring. Pat into shape to air dry on a towel. I’ll do it for you if you want. I am a knitter. I wash sweaters all the time.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. October 7, 2018
Margaret, you are so sweet. These tips are very useful; thank you.