Frankly, I have never understood the practice of adding sugar/brown sugar/maple syrup/honey to already-sweet winter squash and yams when we’re talking about a dish that’s part of dinner. I believe practices such as this are meant to deceive children into consuming vegetables.
What I do understand is a nice marriage of the inherent sweetness of winter squash, the pungently bitter tang of fresh brussels sprouts and a simple plate of pasta to support it. That’s what we’ve got right here. Total transparency.
This is absurdly easy to make. You brown some squash in a pan, caramelize some brussels sprouts, cook some pasta, sprinkle everything generously with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and you’re set. And it tastes like autumn.
Pasta with Squash and Brussels Sprouts
1 lb. brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
1 delicata squash, sliced diagonally into 1″ discs
1/2 lb fusilli or similar pasta (dry weight)
Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook, drain, return to pot and cover to keep warm. Heat two large pans. Warm some oil. To one, add the brussels sprouts, cut side down. To the other, add the discs of squash. Sprinkle some salt and nutmeg over the squash. Stir the brussels sprouts occasionally. When squash is browned on one side, flip them. Once the squash and brussels sprouts are nicely browned, remove from heat. Slice the squash into bite-size pieces. (With delicata squash, I don’t bother to remove the skin. It seems to soften sufficiently in cooking that it’s unnecessary.)
Add everything to the pot with the pasta. You will probably need to add some oil. Add salt and pepper and nutmeg to your liking. Grate some fresh parmesan on top. Serve hot.