THIS MONTH’S FEATURED RECIPE
Infuse a fresh twist into your personal menu with featured recipes created by our chefs especially for you and your guests. This month’s recipe for Orecchiette, Roasted Butternut Squash, Clams and Pancetta comes from the kitchen of Andrea Chef Marco.
Orecchiette, Roasted Butternut Squash, Clams and Pancetta
½ cup flour
1 cup semolina
½ cup water
7 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 pounds butternut squash,
diced ¼-inch thick
1 cup Italian-style pancetta,
diced ¼-inch thick
1 spring of thyme
1 pound fresh Manila clams
1 tablespoon shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix together flour and semolina in a bowl, then place mixture in a mound on a lightly floured wooden board. Make an indent in the middle of the mound, and add salt and half of the water. Gently mix flour into the liquid, slowly incorporating more water as needed, until dough becomes a smooth, elastic ball. (More water may be required depending on the flour.) Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit for 20 minutes.
Unwrap dough, cut in half and flatten on a hard surface. Break off plum-sized balls, roll into tubes about a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch thick, and cut into quarter-inch discs. With your thumb, flatten each disc, dragging it slightly toward you so the dough curves around your finger to resemble the shape of a small ear. Allow pasta to dry on a flat tray for 4-6 hours or overnight.
In a sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the breadcrumbs and paprika. Sauté until golden brown, then season with salt, to taste. In a large pot, boil 6 quarts of salted water, then add the orecchiette pasta, stirring constantly in the beginning to prevent it from sticking together. Cook until al dente. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a hot sauté pan. Add the pancetta and roast for one minute. Add the diced butternut squash and thyme. Sauté until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
In another large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is almost smoking, add the shallots, garlic and clams. Deglaze with the white wine to remove and dissolve browned residue from pan. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until most of the clams have opened. Add the butternut squash, pancetta and 2 tablespoons of parsley.
Drain pasta in a colander, reserving a cup of the water. Add reserved water and pasta into the clam pan and mix thoroughly. Drizzle with olive oil, and taste to check seasoning. Dish pasta into a bowl, and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top, then serve immediately.