Tag Archives: butternut squash

Rigatoni with butternut squash, bacon and caramelized onions

During a recent nap time, I went through all my cookbooks, found all my favorite recipes and those I had not yet tried that sounded good based on their ingredients or the picture. And what did I do with all these recipes? I made a giant, five page alphabetical Word document index. It’s organized like this:

Recipe title (main ingredients), Publication Title page number.

Yes, I am that crazy, anal retentive, type A, overly organized, and all the other adjectives I am sure you can have fun coming up with for me.

I am so happy I did this because I found lots of new recipes and having the main ingredient list next to each recipe allows me to find them based on what is in season.

So this recipe is based on one I found in a book I have had for years that went largely ignored.

Rigatoni with butternut squash, bacon and caramelized onions
Adapted from “Rigatoni with Squash and Caramelized Onions” in Food & Wine Best of the Best Vol. 9 which is a compilation of recipe books and this one is originally from Recipes by Susan Spungen, the founding food editor of Martha Stewart Living

Ingredients
-1/2 lb rigatoni
-1 butternut squash
-2 garlic cloves, pressed
-1 tbsp butter
-1 onion, halved and sliced
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
-dash or two pumpkin pie spice
-2 thick slices bacon, chopped
-1 cup stock (I used vegetable)
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
-salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook pasta in salted water two minutes less than recommended time on package (it will continue to cook in the oven).

While the pasta is cooking, peel, chop and remove the seeds from your butternut squash.

Brown the bacon. Remove from pan and drain. Set aside. Add the garlic, onions and butter to the pan and brown. Add 1/4 cup water and cook 5 more minutes.

Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.

Add the oil, squash, half the rosemary, salt, and pepper and sauté until tender when pierced with a knife. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer around 8-10 minutes. Add cream, bring to a boil and simmer one minute more. Remove from heat.

Combine with bacon, pasta and all remaining ingredients thoroughly, reserving 1/2 cup cheese. Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake 30-35 min until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.

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Serve with a salad of mixed greens, apple, pomegranate, green onions and sunflower seeds dressed with olive oil, salt and vinegar. You may also want a bit of warm bread at the end to sop up the sauce.

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Quinoa linguine with butternut squash, spinach, shallots and artichoke hearts

I have been thinking about a lot of things as usual. One of which is going veg again.

Also, Lent is coming up and traditionally Christians fast from animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, fish, etc.) during this time (this Sunday is meat fare Sunday, the last time traditional practicing Christians can have meat and I think next Sunday is cheese fare Sunday, the last Sunday for dairy products before Easter). We still aren’t sure if we are participating in this, this particular year, but we are thinking about it.

Doing more research on the food industry just really has me bummed out about meat especially. I have been watching YouTube video interviews with Jonathan Saffron Foer, author of Eating Animals, and I really like some of the stuff he says like, how it doesn’t have to be all or nothing and how vegetarians need not be on some extreme end of the spectrum. How reducing the amount of meat we eat, even if just one meal a week, can make a big impact on the industry.

Plus, eating meat, touching it, and all that has been really hard for me much of this pregnancy. Often the texture just really turns me off. In the case of red meat, I feel like I can often taste the blood (that is the only way I know to describe it, hope it makes sense). Meat just leaves me feeling so gross most of the time.

But consequently there is the whole importance of protein during pregnancy and how it is really, really hard to get up to Dr. Bradley’s recommended 80g or more per day even when you are eating meat. I know I feel better when I get close and really focus on it, but focusing on it can be a little maddening.

Then there is the frustration in week after week seeing a lot of our CSA produce going to waste or building to seemingly insurmountable levels in our fridge. I was thankful that our mini-vacation meant not getting more produce this week.

I still don’t know all the answers to these questions and thoughts, but here is a recipe that is vegetarian, gluten-free, yummy, uses produce currently in season and is filling.

Quinoa linguine with butternut squash, spinach, shallots and artichoke hearts

Ingredients:
-2 small butternut squash peeled and chopped
-a bunch of spinach, stems removed
-2 large shallots, chopped
-2 baby artichokes, trimmed and chopped (I also think marinated artichoke hearts might work well in this recipe, but you’d obviously skip the step of boiling them)
-1/2 box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa linguine
-handful of fresh parsley, chopped
-salt and black pepper to taste
-dash of red pepper flakes
-a dribble of apple cider vinegar
-olive oil
-cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Chop and peel your butternut squash. Place in a bowl and toss to coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile start a small pot of water boiling. Trim and chop your artichokes then place in boiling water. Boil until tender.

While that is going remove the stems from the spinach and rinse it. Once the artichoke hearts are done pour the boiling water and artichokes over the spinach to wilt it. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Start a large pot of salted water to boil for your pasta. When it comes to a boil add pasta and cook according to package directions.

The squash should finish soon. Add that in with the spinach and artichoke hearts.

After draining pasta, return the empty pot to the burner, reduce it slightly. Add a couple gluts of olive oil to the pot along with the shallots, more salt and pepper, the red pepper and the apple cider vinegar. Stir occasionally and sauté the shallots until tender.

While the shallots are cooking, cut up the parsley. Toss it in right at the end along with the other vegetables and the pasta. Add more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.

Serve and grate cheese over the top if desired.

This made enough for all four of us with leftovers for one tomorrow. An easy way to have it make more would be to use the whole box of pasta, add in more artichokes, etc.

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