Monday, May 17, 2010
Pasta with Butternut Squash Wine Sauce
If you have read my blog at all, you have probably noticed something very important about me:
I LOVE leeks. And I love finding random dishes to include leeks in.. Oh and I love wine... and vegetables...
Ok so basically, since Donovan is gone, I can eat whatever the heck I want that he wouldn't normally be game for, and if it is a bust I don't have to worry about him thinking his wife has "lost her touch"...
But guess what? Leeks + butternut squash + wine + pasta = AMAZING!
So here is what you do...
At least 2 hours before you want to serve dinner, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and scrub down a butternut squash. Then slice it in half long ways and place in a baking dish cut side down and fill the dish with about a half inch of water. Bake for about an hour or until super tender. Let cool and when cool enough to handle scoop out the goop and seeds, and then scoop the flesh out of the shells into a bowl and set aside for later. Below is a picture of what the squash looks like when it is nice and tender.... See that spoon on the left? It didn't take any effort to slide into the squash.. If your squash is still a little crisp or tough (don't know how else to describe it), pop it back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Now prep your veggies... I chopped a yellow onion very finely, and halved two leeks and then cut into thin half moon ribbons.
Next melt 1/4 c butter in a large skillet and add the leeks and onion. If you want to add some minced garlic, add it when your leeks and onions are getting tender and translucent to avoid burning.
When your veggies are tender and translucent add a splash or two of wine. Okay then add a couple more splashes... Don't be stingy... I think I used about 1/2 c wine or something...
Okay so let the wine mix in with the veggies and butter. Add the reserved butternut squash and mix into the leek and wine mixture.
Add a couple splashes of heavy cream (about 1/4 c or so) and stir until super creamy. I added a couple good dashes of sage and some fresh ground pepper and sea salt. Cook until heated through.
You can mix this sauce in with some cooked angel hair, fettucine, penne, or any pasta that you like, then top with cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes, or serve on pasta as is.
Landon ate this like it was the only thing he has eaten in days! It was gone in seconds!
I made it just like the above recipe and served it with some pan grilled chicken breast alongside it. I garnished it with a couple fresh basil leaves and some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
This is a very delicious, easy meal for the whole family, and can easily be changed to suit anyone's taste buds...
A couple ideas:
Throw a handful or two of fresh spinach in with the leeks and onions
Roast a bunch of grape tomatoes in the oven while baking your squash: only roast them until they "pop", checking often so they don't burn, and shaking the pan occasionally to ensure evening roasting and that they don't burn and stick to the pan.It should take about 10-15 minutes, but still check often. Then add these to your sauce in the last step for an extra Italian flair...
Chop a roma tomato up and sprinkle on top
Crumble a few crisp pieces of bacon on top
Use the sauce, some ricotta cheese, and some chopped cooked chicken as a filling for manicotti, shells, or lasagna
Top with sun dried tomatoes and kalamata olives for a Mediterranean feel
Get creative! If you think of any great ideas, add them in a comment!!