To my mind, the only way to eat butternut squash has always been roasted--and I like a bit of carmelization here and there, to give it some extra, lovely texture and deeper flavor. Squash with pasta is a no brainer, too, but I decided to try to blow my own squash mind by doubling up, employing squash AS pasta.Of course, treating spaghetti squash as a mere pasta substitute gives short shrift to the vegetable: it has too many alluring felicities to bury under a domineering sauce--especially a tomato one. But sweet, garlic-roasted butternut squash combined with cream- and parmesan- enriched spaghetti squash (rounded off with chopped arugula and a touch of green olive) is harmonious, sumptuous, satisfying, and surprising. And that is all I will say on this topic. —EmilyNunn
large or 2 medium butternut squash
1 to 1 1/2 cups
cloves garlic, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
medium spaghetti squash
stick salted butter
cream or half and half
grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
roughly chopped arugula leaves
freshly squeeze lemon juice
cracked green olives, roughly chopped
Peel, seed, and cut up butternut squash into varying sizes --1/2 inch thick rectangles, 1 inch cubes (this will allow some pieces to get chewy and others to remain soft and roasty). In a large shallow baking dish, toss squash with the olive oil, the garlic, and pepper to taste (I like a teaspoon or more). Pour in chicken broth (you want enough to make a 1/2 inch in bottom of dish). Place in oven and cook 50 minutes to an hour, stirring once or twice, until all liquid is absorbed and some of the thinner squash is browned and crisp looking at the edges.
Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and place face down on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Cook 30-40 minutes, until easily pierced by a sharp knife. Let cool. Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti like strands into a bowl. Cover with foil and keep warm until ready to make sauce.
In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high. Add cream; heat until it begins to bubble. Lower heat, add cheese and stir until smooth. Stir in cayenne and honey. Keep warm.
Add spaghetti squash to sauce. Increase heat to medium, and stir until warmed through.
Toss arugula with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. To serve, place squash in soup plate or pasta bowl. Top with a good sprinkling of chopped olive, a lot of butternut squash, and a good handful of chopped arugula.