Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage Brown Butter

Medium (3 lb.) butternut or other winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (8 cups)
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (you could also go a little lighter on this and be fine)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lb. dried pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese 

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the cubed squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the spread it on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until slightly caramelized, 30 minutes total.  Take out of the oven and set aside. 

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, then drain well.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter with remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it bubbles.  Reduce heat to medium-low, then add shallot, sage, and a dash of salt.  Cook, stirring, until shallots are soft, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Turn off the heat;  add the squash and, if you want, pecans.  Toss with cooked pasta and serve with Parmesan. 

– ‘Wondertime’ magazine, October 2007

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