Gourds Galore! Italian White Wine Pairing & Butternut Squash Purée

The brisk air is coming and the holidays are closer than we want to admit, so get a jump start on those recipes and test them out now! A great side dish and accompaniment especially to Thanksgiving is Puréed Butternut Squash with Sage and Parmesan. Especially since winter squash is best from October to November.

Creamy, sweet, and earthy this butternut squash dish will go wonderfully with a nice chilled glass of Mastroberardino Lacryma Christi Bianco. Full of stone fruit, licorice and mineral notes, this well-structured Italian white will enhance the richness and hints of sage in the dish.

Food and Wine Pairing - Butternut Squash and an Italian White

 

Butternut Squash
Modern day squash developed from the wild squash that originated in an area between Guatemala and Mexico. It has been consumed for over 10,000 years, but was first cultivated for their seeds instead of their bitter flesh. As time progressed and the squash cultivation spread, varieties with a sweeter-tasting flesh were developed and consumed specifically for their flesh.

A variety of winter squash, Butternut squash is shaped like a large pear with cream-colored skin, orange flesh ,and a sweet, nutty flavor similar to that of a pumpkin. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange and acquires a richer, sweeter taste. Used in all areas of the kitchen it can be roasted, toasted, puréed for soups, mashed, or used in casseroles, breads, and muffins. Butternut squash is also a great source of obtaining your vitamins this chilly season!

Mastroberardino Lacryma Christi Blanco

Mastroberardino Lacryma Christi Bianco
Located on Italy’s west Coast, Mastroberardino is Campania’s most renowned winery and has been the most important player in preserving the vinous heritage of the region. The winery was established in the 1750s by famed winemaker Pietro di Mastro Berardino, and with his family, has always searched out and resuscitated native grape varietals that phylloxera diminished. Some of these grapes include Aglianico, Falanghina, Fianco, Piedirosso, Greco and Coda di Volpe. Ten generations later they are still producing the most amazing wines with indigenous grapes and was recently appointed to reintroduce vine growing to the ancient city of Pompeii.

Translated as “tears of Christ” the story behind the name of Lacryma Christi is that when God found a corner of Heaven stolen by Lucifer, He cried and where his tears fell, there grew the grapes, Coda di Volpe, that make Lacryma Christi.

Lacryma Christi Bianco is pale yellow in color, with aromas of pear and tree fruits that are complimented by hints of white peach and licorice. The palate is full of minerality, structure, and body that makes this a very food-friendly wine.

Puréed Butternut Squash with Sage and Parmesan
Yield: 2-4 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients
1 small butternut squash
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 oz. crème fraiche
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 – 5 fresh sage leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

3. Rub the insides with melted butter and season with salt and pepper.

4. On a foil or parchment lined sheet pan, lay the squash cut side down and tuck a few sage leaves into the cavity of each squash.

5. Place the squash in the oven and roast until it is very soft and fork tender, about 35 – 40 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside until it has cooled enough to handle.

6. Scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor with the crème fraiche, half the Parmesan cheese and blend until silky smooth. Add salt and pepper as needed.

7. Fill deep serving or baking dishes with the mixture and sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese. Bake until golden brown and warm throughout, about 15 minutes.

8. Serve warm.

– By Kimberly Vroegindewey

 

 

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