Let’s call this a salad in a trench coat.
Or pasta. Either way. But it’s roasted garlicky delicata squash with loads of peppery arugula and the brilliant zing of lemon. So right, basically a salad.
In a trench coat.
See how we do this?
Let us peepeth.
Six ingredients! I do feel an exclamation point is all but necessary.
And listen, if you’d like add a little more to this, like crushed red pepper, onion powder, or any other vegetable, fly. But I’ve received a slew of “omg give me the most simple recipes in winter or else I’ll rip my own head off!” comments, so here we go.
Also, this is the pasta I used, but grab something small or spirally and away you go.
To prep the delicatas, all you’ll do is slice them down the center lengthwise, then scoopy scoop the seeds out. THAT’S where the little half ring shapes come into place. Which I’m sure you know already because you’re a human being on planet Earth.
They are attractive little boogers, aren’t they?
Let’s sprinkle with garlic powder and coarse salt, plus a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Roast them for just a little bit. Go ten minutes, flip and go another 10-15. They don’t need too long, surprisingly!
Yeah I went a little too long OKAY?
I’m still a good person.
And they still looked good.
And tasted phenom.
Next up, the pasta! I mean salad.
SAVE YOUR PASTA WATER. I’ll say it again: SAVE.YOUR.PASTA.WATER.
After you’ve boiled your pasta, scoop or ladle out about two cups of that magical liquid. And I do mean two full cups. It will be there if you need it, and you will need it.
The arugula gets violently dumped on top of the cooked pasta, and the starchy pasta water goes right on top. A) this helps wilt the arugula, and B) the pasta will drink it up and turn it into a little sauce. That plus the lemon juice! Don’t forget that. Squeeze half the lemon down over the pasta and save the other half for wedge serving.
And that is how it comes together, mah dears. A barely-there lemon sauce, beautifully bitter arugula, the savory tenderness of the roasted squash, a dusting of good parmesan. It is all of winter in one toothy, delicious bite.
And vegetarian, would ya look at that!
Have some cracked black pepper and coarse finishing salt at the ready, and it’s just spectacular.
See? Totally a salad. (don’t quote me on that.)
This is my idea of nesting.