Peter Gilmore’s delicious ‘fettuccini’ uses golden squash as both noodle and sauce in a dish that’s much easier than it looks.
Possessing a nutty intensity when roasted, but an equally fine, crisp flavour when barely blanched, the Gete Okosomin squash lends itself to a variety of preparations.
In this dish I have combined these two cooking techniques, with the end result enhanced through the use of brown butter, bronze fennel and fennel pollen.
Words: Peter Gilmore. Pictures: Brett Steven
What you need:
24 fennel flowers
1 kg rock salt
200 ml Brown Butter, see below, melted
1 Gete Okosomin squash, approx. 700 g
1 bunch bronze fennel fronds, separated
What to do:
Using your fingers, crumble 16 of the fennel flowers over a dish to collect the pollen. Discard the flower stalks and set aside the pollen until needed.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and cover a baking tray in a layer of rock salt. Melt the brown butter in a small saucepan.
Cut the Gete Okosomin squash in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Place one half, cut side up, on the rock salt, brush with 50 ml of the brown butter
and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for approximately 90 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and well softened.
Meanwhile, cut the remaining squash half into quarters and peel away the skin, then cut each piece into 2 mm thick strips using a mandolin or sharp knife.
Cut the strips lengthways into 1 cm thick ribbons, keeping them as long as possible so they resemble fettucine.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
Remove the roasted squash from the oven. Using a tablespoon, scoop sections of the roasted squash flesh from the skin and transfer them to warmed serving
plates. Press lightly down on each piece of squash with the back of the spoon, drizzle over a little brown butter and season with sea salt.
Briefly blanch the squash ribbons in the boiling water for a maximum of 30 seconds, then drain and toss in the remaining brown butter, seasoning with sea
salt and sprinkling over the fennel pollen to finish. Place a generous bundle of the squash fettucine on top of each piece of roasted squash and garnish
with the fennel fronds and remaining fennel flowers.
To make the brown butter, melt 250g of unsalted butter over high heat. Once it has foamed and started to turn golden-brown, remove from the heat and carefully
pour into a large bowl, leaving as much of the solids behind as possible. Use a small ladle to remove any remaining foam, then ladle into a clean counter,
leaving the milk solids on the bottom of the pan. The browned butter will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks and is delicious on vegetables and vegetables
[box with cover]Chef Peter Gilmore is a keen gardener who uses his home plot to trial new ingredients for his internationally famous restaurants, Quay
and Bennelong. Listen in to his chat with Linda on the Garden Clinic Digs Deeper podcast.
From the Earth by Peter Gilmore is published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $80, and is available in stores nationally. Photographer: Brett Steven