To say I have a passion for good food is somewhat of an understatement. I used to run a cafe here in town, and prior to moving to this area, worked at Whole Foods Market.
My name is Whitney Tracy and I am going to share some seasonal, Adirondack-inspired fare with you. Before we dive in, a bit about me: I'm newly married and live in the town of Speculator (located at the southern end of Hamilton County) with my husband and two Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs. To say I have a passion for good food is somewhat of an understatement. I used to run a cafe here in town, and prior to moving to this area, worked at Whole Foods Market.
I'm a food photographer in the Adirondacks, but the tough thing about my job is that during winter, you have to base your cooking schedule around when the best light is filtering through your window. Meaning, my husband has come down in the early hours of the morning to find his wife photographing a fully-cooked dinner in that dusky morning light. Those don't really count as leftovers that night, right?
Today was not one of those well-thought-out recipe trial sessions. I worked until 2pm. For those of you familiar with Adirondack November days, this meant I had 2.5, maybe 3 hours of good shooting light left...and I hadn't even MADE this dish yet. So let me rephrase that, I had 2.5-3 hours to cook, style, AND shoot this dish before darkness descended.
November is a month of thankfulness, right? Well, I'm thankful my husband was up in Indian Lake this afternoon, helping a friend build the frame of his pole barn, and didn't see me running around the kitchen like a mad woman, all the while glancing frantically at the clock and praying this dish actually turned out okay on the first shot. I'm also thankful that, after being tripped over 3 times, one of my dogs wisely decided to retreat from the kitchen and nap in front of the fire.
The recipe I want to share with you is a great autumnal vegetarian dish. It's quite impressive to look at for how easy it is, and thus, perfect for a holiday spread.
Now I need to make something clear before getting started, I didn't create this recipe. I may tweak it to fit my liking, but really, all I'm doing is scouring the deepest recesses of the internet, testing good-looking dishes, and then presenting them to you with a stamp of approval. With that being said, this recipe is adapted from one I discovered on HalfBakedHarvest.com.
Back to this wonderful pie. Apart from being a month of thankfulness, November should also be National Pie Month (it's not, I checked. It is however, National Peanut Butter Lover's Month and if we're being honest here, I celebrate that every day). Let's depart from the masses and their pumpkin, apple, sweet potato, and coconut cream pies and make our very own pie...out of pasta.
Butternut Squash & Gorgonzola Rigatoni Pasta Pie
You will need the following:
1 pound rigatoni pasta (the biggest variety you can find)
4 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt + pepper
4-6 ounces gorgonzola, plus more for topping (I subbed bleu cheese. Our small mom & pop grocery store, unfortunately, does not carry gorgonzola)
8 ounces burrito cheese, divided (if my grocery store doesn't carry gorgonzola, you can bet your behind it doesn't carry burrata. You can sub fresh mozzarella, or, if you're like me, you happen to have a ball of smoked mozzarella sitting in your fridge that works fantastically, too)
1/2 cup milk (I used 2 percent Lactaid. My husband is lactose-intolerant. I realize there's already an arm and a leg of cheese in this dish so I'm not sure why I felt the need to cut the milk lactase here)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 bunch sage, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded