A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in a luncheon at The Seasoned Chef Cooking School in Denver that was hosted by the folks who own Epicurean Butter; another local Denver company. Epicurean had brought in Chef Julius Russell to prepare several dishes using their product to introduce it to local food writers, bloggers, and other food industry professionals.
Epicurean Butters are a line of compound butters that are infused with flavors from sweet to savory that have been developed by John Hubschman, a Denver chef whose vision was to bring to the home cook a gourmet quality product more often associated with restaurant dinners. There are 14 different flavors of Epicurean Butter and I was lucky enough to get to sample almost all of them. It should come as no surprise that I loved the Caramel Sea Salt Butter where only a spoon is required (OK maybe a biscuit would be nice too!) but I’ve loved using several of them in the past couple of weeks and have used them for pizza, dessert and this AMAZING Butternut Squash Pasta.
For our luncheon, we were treated with several dishes to sample; all using a different flavor of Epicurean butter. Chef Julius and his assistant prepared apricot and goat cheese bruschetta, sauteed shrimp in Scampi Butter, a roasted pork loin and my favorite, the ending to our meal, a buttery apple bread pudding to die for. I still need to get that recipe and share it with you! This was a fun event; I saw some old friends, reconnected with one of the judges that I shared duties with at the National Beef Cook-Off and enjoyed a fabulous tasting while taking a break from work. Tough job huh?
I had actually planned to re-create one of Chef Julius’ recipes until I spied this one in the gift bag that was given to all participants. Everything about this sounded wonderful from the roasted squash to the ricotta topping with toasted walnuts. I took it across the street to neighbors for dinner. Their daughter Lena has become quite my little pal but she still resisted something new. I begged her to try it and even did the ‘airplane’ with her fork. Looks like she was swayed huh?
During this short lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas when you want something satisfying for your family or friends, give this dish or others a try with the help of an Epicurean Butter; you’ll love them!
Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta with Ricotta and Toasted Walnuts
- 1 lb linguine pasta, cooked (reserve 1/2 cup pasta water)
- 2-3 oz Epicurean Tuscan Herb butter
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- 1-2 cups roasted butternut squash, diced (I like a lot more squash than the recipe called for)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 c ricotta
- 1/4 c chopped walnuts (toasted)
- 1/4 c parsley
- 1 tsp finishing salt
- Heat large pot on medium high heat. Add butter and shallots. Cook till shallots are clear.
- Add pasta water and cook for 5 mins. Add pasta and squash and gently combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Scoop large spoonful into serving bowls and top with ricotta, toasted walnuts, parsley and a sprinkling of finishing salt.
Great as a side dish or the main course!
Epicurean Butter is found at stores all over the US; they are in most Whole Foods and Sprouts locations.
I received samples of this butter from Epicurean Butter but all commentary is my own.