Even though this column shares quick dinner meals every day, sometimes even I'm flabbergasted when a recipe comes along that's this easy. This one from Nigella Lawson's How to Eat is a perfect example. The hardest part about this one-pot dinner is peeling the butternut squash (unless I'm the only one that finds this a pain). Otherwise, the rest of the time is spent chucking things in a pot and waiting.
Yet the end result is a legitimate meal, which is warming and satisfying.
It's also nice that each spoonful is still textually interesting. Only a cup of the chopped butternut squash is blended, resulting in a soup that has some body, but which is definitely not smooth. The pasta, which actually cooks in the soup, helps bulk things out, making this a pleasantly filling meal.
- Yield:serves 2
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 8 ounces butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 ounces small shaped pasta
- Parmesan, freshly grated
Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Turn the heat to medium, and when oil starts to shimmer, add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about ten minutes. Add the butternut squash, and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the wine and vegetable stock and add the bay leaf. Bring to simmer, and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
Remove a cup of the soup and puree it in a blender or with an immersion blender. Add this back to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until pasta is al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and more salt, if needed.