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Nigella Lawson's Recipe for a Perfect Date Night


Chef and cookbook author Nigella Lawson took "Extra's" AJ Calloway on a Big Apple food truck taste testin' spree!

"I adore street food," Lawson admitted. "In fact, I have slight desire to have one of these vans myself. I would love to have a van and drive around everywhere and stop different places and cook and hand out foods."

With her new book, "Kitchen," the famed chef is focusing on the heart of the home -- and gave Calloway a great recipe for a stellar date night.

"Noodles with squash, blue cheese, pine nut and a bit of sage," explained Lawson. "It's simple, so you do not have to be chopping up things like a mad person in the kitchen. It's quite accomplished when it comes out, and a bit different. Complement the meal with a saffron risotto and Devil's Food cake or chocolate peanut butter cheesecake."

Here's the full recipe:

Nigella Lawson's Pappardelle with Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese


1 large butternut squash, 2-3/4- 3-1/4 lbs., or 1-3/4 lbs. ready-cubed (6 cups)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. Marsala
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup pine nuts
1 lb. pappardelle or other robust pasta
6 fresh sage leaves
5 oz. soft blue cheese, such as Saint Agur


1. Peel, halve, and seed the butternut squash; cut into roughly 1-inch cubes.
2. Cook onion in olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan that can accommodate the pasta later. When the onion starts to become golden, add the paprika.
3. Stir butter and squash into onion mixture in pan. Add Marsala and water. Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer about 10 minutes or until squash is tender but still holds its shape.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to boiling; add hefty pinch of salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Toast pine nuts in a hot, dry frying pan o the stove top until dark gold. Pour them into a bowl or onto a plate to cool.
5. Lightly season squash mixture to taste with salt (the blue cheese will add additional saltiness). Remove from heat.
6. Finely chop sage; sprinkle over the squash, reserving some for serving.
7. Remove about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water with a ladle or mug; drain pasta. Add drained pasta to the squash mixture. Gently stir to combine. If sauce is too dry or mixture won't come together, add some of the reserved cooking water; the starch in it encourages the sauce to emulsify and cling to the pasta. Stir in most of the pine nuts and blue cheese. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with remaining sage, pine nuts, and cheese. Makes 6 (1-1/2 cup) servings plus leftovers.