Creamy Orecchiette & Fall Veggies
Orecchiette is hands down our favorite noodle shape, and it’s perfect here — like hundreds of tiny bowls, perfectly tender and brimming with cheese sauce. Rather than heavy cream and melty cheese, we made the sauce for this dish with wine, Parm, chicken broth, garlic, and thyme. It’s thick and creamy enough to coat the roasted squash and broccoli, but it has a savory depth of flavor you just don’t get from mac and cheese.
This is a simple, weeknight dish, that’s just made for improvisation. Go ahead and use whatever veggies you have around — asparagus, Brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, you name it. Meal preppers: If you make a double batch, you’ll be rewarded with some dynamite lunches. The lush sauce gains flavor with time, and it reheats like a dream.
3 cups butternut squash, cubed
3 cups broccoli, cut into florets
1 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
16 oz orecchiette
3 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
3 Tbsp flour
½ cup white wine
2 to 3 cups chicken broth
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for garnish
Lemon juice, to taste
Pumpkin seeds, toasted, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Place the veggies on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast until the veggies are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set it aside.
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté until soft.
Add the flour, whisk until smooth, and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the white wine, whisk to incorporate, bring the butter mixture to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, ½ cup at a time, and whisk to incorporate, adding more liquid as the mixture thickens to the consistency of heavy cream — or desired thickness.
Add ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and salt to taste. The sauce should be smooth and light.
Toss the sauce, pasta, and veggies together, using additional broth as needed to keep the sauce loose. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, garnish generously with the pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from: Pinch of Yum