Author Notes: Despite the squash’s protagonist role in Central American cuisine, I have no memories of pumpkin-y or squash-y foods in Argentina. So what’s a transplant to New England to do? Nothing is quite as homey as an uber-comfort food fusion of a fragrant fall squash dish and an empanada when it starts to get nippy out. (As for the dough, see my empanada dough recipe for my thoughts on this matter.) —yclaraquesi
Makes: one dozen empanadas, (5 inch diameter discos)
discos for empanadas, made or bought
large butternut squash
large sweet onion
A few cloves of garlic
Thyme, fresh or dried
Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Slice the butternut squash into rounds and remove the seeds. Cut the onion into quarters. Lay the squash and onion on a rimmed baking sheet, and add a few cloves of unpeeled garlic (to your taste). Sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil, and roast in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour, until the squash is soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Turn your oven up to 450F.
- While the squash cools, lay out your discos on a lightly floured surface. Spread each disco with goat cheese – don’t go too close the edges or it will be hard to crimp your empanadas later! Add a few pieces of roasted onion and fresh sage to each as well.
- Once cool, spoon the butternut squash out of its skin. Peel and add the roasted garlic. Add cinnamon, salt, pepper and thyme to taste. Mash the mixture with a fork until well incorporated.
- Spoon the butternut squash mixture into the center of each disco. You’ll have to play with the balance of flavors. I usually put a tablespoon of filling, and lay the goat cheese on quite generously.
- Seal and crimp your empanadas, making sure to seal them well!
- Grease a cookie sheet, and lay your empanadas about an inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and paint them with an egg beaten with a little bit of water. Return to the oven, being sure to rotate the baking sheets. Bake another 10 minutes, or so, until golden brown and the dough is firm to the touch. Allow to cool a little before eating! This is especially important with this filling, because the dense squash will retain much of its heat!