Winter Fettuccine


1 small winter squash (butternut or acorn)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts)
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup red wine
12 oz. (360 g) dry fettuccine

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Makes 4 servings.


  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
  • Cut squash in half and place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking pan. Place in oven. 
  • Pour about half-cup water into pan. Bake until squash is cooked but still has some firmness, about 50 minutes. 
  • Set aside and cool. 
  • Cut squash into bite-size pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. When water boils, add pasta, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain well and transfer to shallow serving bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. 
  • Add cabbage and orange zest and cook until softened. Season with salt. Keep warm.
  • In another large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add sage and cook until the butter turns brown. 
  • Add wine and simmer 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in squash. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Add cooked cabbage, leeks and fennel to the pasta and toss gently. Pour squash and brown butter over pasta. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Under Italian law, dry pasta (pasta secca) can only be made from durum wheat flour or durum wheat semolina.

There are approximately 600 different shapes of pasta. Examples include spaghetti (thin rods), macaroni (tubes or cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets).

Pasta is categorized in two basic styles: dried and fresh. Dried pasta made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

In the 1st century BC writings of Horace, lagana were fine sheets of dough which were fried and were an everyday food.

Writing in the 2nd century Athenaeus of Naucratis provides a recipe for lagana which he attributes to the 1st century Chrysippus of Tyana: sheets of dough made of wheat flour and the juice of crushed lettuce, then flavored with spices and deep-fried in oil.

An early 5th century cookbook describes a dish called lagana that consisted of layers of dough with meat stuffing, a possible ancestor of modern-day Lasagna. But the method of cooking these sheets of dough does not correspond to our modern definition of either a fresh or dry pasta product.

The name lagána survives in modern-day Greece to denote an unleavened, flat bread eaten during the Great Lent.The term "lagana" is also used in the Southern region of Calabria, where it indicates a flat noodle.