Pasta with leeks and butternut squash

I'm so glad October is finally here. September was a month filled with so many things to do that I'm looking forward to a little R&R before Nevada Day and to the holidays after that.

I want to talk about a couple of parties I helped out with this past month. The first one was a gathering of women at Dorothy Palmer's house. It was not a fund-raiser for Marv Teixeira, who is running for mayor, but more of an informal get-together to address any questions and concerns regarding Marv.

You didn't need to support him to come to the event. It was unique in that I haven't been to anything quite like it in Carson City. Dorothy wanted to do an informal get-together of women, who came to her house and had a glass of good wine, some fine cheese with a little fruit and chocolate, if they were so inclined.

It got a lot of women voters in a thinking mode, and best of all, we had some great cheese from Cowgirl Creamery thanks to Tony Fish from Adele's, who was kind enough to order what he thought all the women might like.

The other event that I attend every year the first Sunday in October is Farm Day at Smith & Smith Farms. It's a great family day and an opportunity to actually go out to the farm and see how and where they grow all the wonderful produce that goes in our baskets. It's also a chance to get some extra pumpkins and produce to stash away for the winter.

It's a potluck affair with all kinds of wonderful food, and this year they had a squash-tasting station manned by Cashion Callaway. I'm sharing her yummy recipe for the pasta and butternut squash dish she brought.

Enjoy this month and the wonderful fall weather we're having because the "C" word will be here before you know it.

Pasta with Leeks

and Butternut Squash

3 T. unsalted butter

3 leeks, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

1 medium butternut squash, quartered, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1Ú4-inch dice

1 cup chicken stock

1Ú2 cup heavy cream

6 to 12 fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 pound penne or pennette pasta

1Ú2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the leeks and cook for five minutes. Add the squash and cook 3 minutes longer. Add the stock, cover, and steam the vegetables just until tender, about five minutes. Stir in the cream and sage; remove from heat.

Salt the boiling pasta water. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Add the squash sauce and half the cheese; toss well; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large, heated bowl and serve at once. Pass the extra cheese.

Sprinkle with toasted walnuts, if you like.

This next recipe is for some of the richest brownies you've ever tasted. Donna Teixeira brought these to the gathering, and I had so many requests for the recipe that I thought it best to put in the paper. It makes a big batch.



1 pound unsalted butter

1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate

6 extra-large eggs

3 T. instant coffee powder

2 T. real vanilla extract

21Ú4 cups sugar

11Ú4 cups flour, divided - 1 cup for batter and 1Ú4 cup in the chips and nuts

1 T. baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups diced walnut pieces

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips and bitter chocolate on top of a double boiler. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt and add to chocolate mixture. In a bowl, mix the remaining 12 ounces chocolate chips with the 3 cups chopped walnuts and the remaining 1Ú4 cup flour to coat (this process keeps the chips and nuts from sinking to the bottom of the pan) then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Halfway through the baking, take the pan out of the oven and bang it on a counter. This allows the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake. Cool before cutting. These are a rich, dense, and very chocolate-flavored brownie.

Linda Marrone has lived in Carson City since 1973, and with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone's Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin's Cookin' Catering.


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