Butternut Squash with Aged Balsamic, Chili, and Breadcrumbs
1 large butternut squash, about 2 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, leaves removed
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
For the breadcrumbs
1 loaf of sourdough bread
First, make the breadcrumbs. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Remove the crust from a loaf of sourdough bread. Cut into cubes. Place in a food processor and pulse until the bread is a crumb-like texture. Toss breadcrumbs with olive oil to coat and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, season with salt and pepper, and let cool.
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add the entire squash and cook, partially covered until tender, about 45 minutes, until a knife can easily pierce through the flesh. Remove the squash, cool slightly, and then remove and discard the stem and peel. Reserve the seeds but discard the stringy interior. Transfer the flesh to a large serving dish and mash with a fork into an even layer. Drizzle with the aged balsamic, 2 tbsp olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
Heat 3 tbsp squash seeds in a skillet until dry. Add 1 tbsp oil, sea salt, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Toss homemade breadcrumbs with thyme, chili flake, and sea salt. Place in an oven heated at 350ºF for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the squash. Finish with Parmigiano Reggiano and the toasted squash seeds.