Oops! On November 25, I blogged about Duck Breast Sous-Vide with Duck Red Wine Demi-Glace and promised that my next post would be about the side dish shown on the plate: butternut squash tartlets. Then I got so excited about the homemade Barolo Chinato I had just tried for the first time that I wanted to blog about that straight away and completely forgot about the butternut squash tartlets. So with a bit of delay here is finally the post about butternut squash tartlets…
The butternut squash tartlets looked great on the plate with the duck, especially garnished with some mostarda di cremona and sage. I made up the recipe as I went, basing it on that of spinach tartlets and leek tartlets. In Italy these are called sformati, which is something like a soufflé but without bothering to try and serve them in their unstable inflated state. Squash and almonds are a classic combination, and so I chose to use almonds in my squash tartlets instead of pine nuts. I based the spice mixture on that of pumpkin pie, so you can almost think of this as pumpkin pie without a crust. It is however savory and the almond gives it some more body and bite.
The stuffing of tortelli di zucca (tortelli stuffed with squash/pumpkin) from the region of Emilia Romagna often contains Mostarda di Cremona. This is a condiment of fruit pickled with mustard from the city of Cremona. It worked very nicely as a garnish for the squash tartlets. It also helps to give them more flavor, as squash/pumpkin do not have a lot of flavor on their own.
350 grams (1 1/2 cups) butternut squash (or pumpkin) puree, click here for the recipe
25 grams (3 Tbsp) roasted almonds (roasted for 10 minutes at 180ºC/350ºF)
1/4 tsp sugar
60 grams (6 Tbsp) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground allspice
salt to taste
butter and breadcrumbs (for coating the muffin pan)
Two years ago I blogged about paccheri alla parmigiana. Paccheri are relatively large tubes of dried pasta from around Naples (smaller than cannelloni but larger than penne), that I stuffed with eggplant, mozzarella, and basil, and then baked in the oven with a tomato sauce. I should probably make this again soon because I still remember it was delicious and the photo I took back then doesn’t really do it justice.