In The Kitchen: Chef John Brennan’s Hubbard Squash Cavatelli recipe

In the Kitchen

There’s nothing is like cooking with local Connecticut produce this time of year.

Chef John Brennan cooking up Hubbard Squash Cavatelli from Olives and Oil’s Farm Fresca menu. Today’s produce came from The Farm in Woodbury.


1 cup pancetta

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1 tablespoon minced oregano

2 cups baby arugula

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 large Hubbard squash

1 stalk of celery 1 Spanish onions

1 large carrots

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon coriander

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon cup salt & pepper mix

1 Hubbard squash

3 quarts of water

Cavatelli Dough

.75 lb. ricotta cheese

½ roasted Hubbard squash

4 eggs

6 cups AP Flour


1. Set oven to 400 ºF . Cut squash in half, remove and discard seeds with a spoon and place on a sheet tray with parchment paper. Drizzle on cooking oil and lightly season with salt & pepper. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes or until squash is softened. When squash is out of the oven, use a spoon to remove all the innards, set aside and discard the skin. At this point set aside ½ of the squash innards for the Cavatelli dough and the other half for the soup base.

2. Rough cut celery, onions and carrots; sauté in a large pot with cooking oil and salt & pepper until semi translucent. Add three quarts of water, Parmesan cheese and let cook for 1 hour on high once you reach a roaring boil. Once the soup base has cooked for one hour add the ½ of the roasted squash innards you saved for the soup, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper and puree using an immersion hand held blender. Once blended, cook for an additional hour on low to medium heat.

3. To make the Cavatelli; mix all the dough ingredients by hand or in a mixer and roll out into a cylinder shape about ½ inch by ½ inch. Then cut into ¼ inch pieces and roll by hand on a fork or cavatelli board to shape in a circular fashion pushing your hand forward.

4. Heat a pot of water on high, add salt and bring to a boil. Once at a roaring boil add your cavatelli and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they float to the top of the water.

5. While the Cavatelli are cooking; heat a pan on high, add a little cooking oil and render fat from the Pancetta. Then add garlic, shallots, minced herbs and 6 oz of the squash soup base. Remove cooked Cavatelli from the boiling water and add into pan. Let reduce in pan, add 1 teaspoon butter, salt & pepper to taste, baby arugula, stir, garnish with fresh grated Parmesan, pumpkin seeds and serve!

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