the appetizer:

Osteria by Rick Tramonto explores a restaurant chef's passion for Italian food, including recipes for Charred Squash with Balsamic Vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano Zucca Arrostita con Balsamico e Parmigiano-Reggiano; Roman Braised Oxtail Brasata di Cota di Bue; and Sauté of Trout with Pumpkin and Anisette Trota con Zucca and Anisetta.



Charred Squash with Balsamic Vinegar
and Parmigiano-Reggiano
(Zucca Arrostita con Balsamico e Parmigiano-Reggiano)

Charred Squash


Serves 4

I like family-style platters, and this is one of those platters that I put together in the fall when squash is at its best. You can char-grill or roast the squash and then finish it simply with balsamic and cheese, both of which mix lusciously with the butter. There are very few ingredients here, so don't skimp; make sure they are the real deal.

  • 2 delicata squash
         (about 1-1/2 pounds total)
         or other fall squash such as
         butternut, acorn, or kabocha
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 1 teaspoon)

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Split the squash in half but do not peel them. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Slice the squash halves lengthwise into 4 pieces each and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Depending on the size of the squash, you may want to cut more slices. Each should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.

3. Heat a large ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Put the olive oil in the pan. Arrange the squash in the pan and then add 1 tablespoon of butter to the hot pan. Remove from the heat. Top with the sage and rosemary.

4. Return the pan to the heat and cook over high heat for about 2 minutes, or until the butter foams and begins to brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not turn the squash while it roasts. When the squash is fork tender and the underside is darkly caramelized but not burned, remove from the oven.

5. Put 4 slices of squash on each of 4 serving plates and set aside. Leave the herbs in the pan.

6. Return the pan to the heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and let it foam and brown lightly. Add the vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits. Spoon all of this sauce over the squash. Shave the cheese over the squash and serve warm.

  • from:
    Hearty Italian Fare from Rick Tramonto's Kitchen
  • by Rick Tramonto and Mary Goodbody
  • Broadway Books 2008
  • Hardcover; 288 pages; $35.00
  • ISBN-10: 0767927710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7679-2771-0
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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