Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Butternut Squash and Noodles with Coconut, Lime, and Cilantro Sauce

I've been eating a lot of squash lately, mostly roasted and pureed with a bit of butter and a few spices, although I've also had it sauteed and in soup this year. Last year I made one butternut squash pasta dish which I absolutely loved, so I was definitely open to trying out this Asian-inspired dish when I came across it searching for recipes to using udon noodles. Creamy and rich coconut milk melds with the sweet and comforting butternut squash and is cut exquisitely with the acidic lime juice and subtle spice of the curry paste. (If you like spicy food, increase the amount of curry paste). There is a quite a bit of prep work associated with this recipe, but it comes together really quickly once you start cooking. It is best to make the udon noodles as close to the end of the squash mixture cooking time as possible, as they tend to get a bit gummy and stick together when allowed to sit too long. For this same reason, this dish is best enjoyed right after it is prepared, but leftovers still make for a pretty good lunch the next day.

Butternut Squash and Noodles with Coconut, Lime, and Cilantro Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit, via Epicurious
serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped white or yellow onion
4 c. cubed butternut squash (from 2 medium or 1 large squash)
1 cup canned vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup canned light unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
Season to taste with salt
8 ounces dried udon noodles or linguine
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add squash; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth, jalapeño and garlic; bring to boil. Cover; cook until squash is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, lime juice and curry paste. Simmer uncovered until squash is tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

2. Meanwhile, cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain noodles. Return to pot. Add squash mixture and cilantro to noodles; toss to blend. Serve.

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