Top | Jackie Varriano

The Five B's

(recipe, Jackie Varriano)

Introduction

This recipe comes from the chef Walter Pisano, of Seattle's Tulio Ristorante. It's a Baked rigatoni with Butternut squash and Burrata, topped with sage Buttered Breadcrumbs — in other words, a rich, fancy mac’n’cheese.

Ingredients

  1. ½ lb. (2 sticks) plus 1 Tbsp. butter, cubed
  2. 12 to 14 large, fresh sage leaves, washed and sliced
  3. 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  4. 1 lb. high-quality dried rigatoni
  5. 2 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  6. 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  7. 3 balls burrata cheese, chopped
  8. 1 cup heavy cream
  9. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  10. Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish (optional)

Steps

  1. Make the breadcrumbs: In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, slowly melt the two sticks of butter cubes over medium heat. When melted, add the sliced sage leaves and allow to toast slightly, then add the breadcrumbs and toast slowly in the pan, turning steadily to prevent burning, till the bread turns a light golden color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Prep the pasta: Blanch the dried pasta according to the package directions minus 4 to 5 minutes for an al dente texture. Toss in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to prevent the pasta from sticking together, and set aside.
  3. Prep the butternut squash: In a sauce pot, bring 1½ gallons of water to a boil with the 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Add the diced butternut squash and blanch for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove with a strainer and cool down under cold running water for 2 to 3 minutes. (The cold water helps prevent overcooking the squash.) Drain well, removing all the remaining water. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Assemble the dish: In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the cooked squash, chopped burrata, cream, pepper, and salt. Lightly toss half of the sage breadcrumbs with the pasta; save the other half for the top of the dish.
  6. Bake the dish: Spread the pasta mixture evenly in a buttered baking dish, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top; bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Grate some fresh Parmesan over the top, if you wish, and serve immediately.