What does fall look like to you? In high school it was football games, pep rallies, and the start of basketball season. In college it was more or less the same, home football games but sprinkled in with lots of trips to the library writing history papers and consuming many cups of coffee. In NYC, it was thick coats, an array of colors from changing leaves, Sunday walks in Central Park, and staying warm with hot tea. Now, it is sweaters, walks with the dogs, and candles at home. But mostly, it is food.
My life has become so revolved around food now, and this year more than ever. Because of this, the seasons are indicated by the food to me. Fall brings lots of roasted vegetables, soups, chilis, hot cocoa, and herbs like sage. It means fall baking and pumpkin things and pie. And of course, there is Thanksgiving.
Cooking seasonally means more to me than just using produce that is in season. It also means cooking seasonally-inspired dishes, such as a big pot of comforting pasta.
This fall-inspired dish has a few of my favorite words: Butter. Pasta. Sage. Meatballs.
Oh, and cheese.
After all of the colder weather we have had here in Texas, warm and cozy dishes like this are ideal. We like to change it up for weeknights, with lots of roasted veggies, soups, or curries, but at least once a week or so we love to have a cozy pasta dish. This is one of those perfect fall dinners.
A couple of notes on the recipe: Because the pasta doesn't have a traditional sauce, make sure to season the browned butter really well with salt and/or lots of parmesan. Second, make sure to serve that sage fried and crispy! It takes only a few seconds but adds flavor to the sauce and adds a textural element to the dish.
Happy Friday and happy fall to you!
Brown Butter Orecchiette with Butternut Squash, Sage and Beyond Burger Meatballs
- 1/2 of a medium butternut squash, about 2-3 cups, cubed and roasted
- 1 lb. orecchiette, cooked according to package directions
- 4 beyond meat burger patties (1 lb.)
- 3 tbl breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup parmesan, divided
- 1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tbl olive oil
- 3 tbl butter
- 2 sprigs of sage leaves
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
While waiting for the water to boil, make the meatballs. In a medium bowl combine beyond burger, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/4 cup of the parmesan and chili pepper flakes (if using). Season with salt and pepper. Mix together with hands until thoroughly combined. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop (or just a spoon and your hands), scoop out the meatballs and shape into a ball. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and continue shaping meatballs until there is no more filling left.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil. Cook the meatballs, about 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. Flip to the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until browned. Remove meatballs from the pan and set aside on a plate.
Lower the heat on the skillet to medium low. Add the butter, and allow to slowly melt, stirring occasionally. Butter should turn brown and be foamy. Once browned, add the sage leaves and allow to fry for a few minutes or until crispy. Remove the sage leaves.
Add the vegetable broth and the rest of the parmesan. Stir until parmesan is melted, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked pasta, tossing to coat. Top with roasted squash, meatballs, crispy sage leaves, and more parmesan to serve.
This post is sponsored by Beyond Meat, makers of The Beyond Burger - a revolutionary plant-based burger that is packed with plant protein and friendly to the environment and you! All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this site going!