Whole-wheat rigatoni with butternut squash and beet greens

Ingredients

1 16 oz. package whole-wheat rigatoni or penne or some pasta
2 T. unsalted butter
1 onion, cut into slivers
1 1 1/2 to 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
5 or 6 shitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced 1/4-inch thick
handful of white button mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick†
1/4 c. dry sherry
3 c. homemade stock‡
3 oz. beet greens, from one bunch of beets (or Swiss chard), tough stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 t. coarse salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled#

Instructions

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain; set aside, covered in plastic wrap.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add squash and cook until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about five minutes. Add sherry and cook until liquid evaporates. Add stock and cook until vegetables are tender and stock is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in greens and cook until wilter, about 3 minutes. Add pasta, salt, and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve with topped cheese, or don’t. It tastes delicious without it.

Serves 4-6

† The original recipe called for all shitakes, totalling 8 oz. worth. At my local market, that was nearly $8.00 of mushrooms alone, so I opted for a five to give a nice flavor to my dish, then substituted regular old mushrooms. The total amount of mushrooms you use should be about 8 oz, break it down however you wish.

‡ The original recipe called for chicken stock, but since I don’t eat meat, I substituted vegetable stock. I used my own, made from scratch, and I have to recommend you do the same. Canned veggie stock sucks, to put it frankly. It’s got no flavor, and you really want something rich to add body here since you’re removing the fattier chicken stock. It’s easy to make stock from scratch and takes not more than an hour. It makes a big difference in the final result.

# I didn’t use the goat cheese because I don’t eat dairy products.

I really liked this recipe, it was easy to make and it was tasty and autumnal and filling. It was great reheated the next day for lunch as well.

Recipe stolen from Martha Stewart Living, November 2001. Adapted and reprinted without permission. You should get this magazine, some of the stuff is really preposterous, but it often inspires me to do neat projects on my own. And it’s very informative, if you like cooking and gardening and general home projects.