Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Sage

During quarantine I think many have been finding that the daily walks are a time to clear your head and maybe reset between work and relaxation. It was during one of these walks that I kept thinking about this butternut squash and what I was going to create with it. Although it is “spring” here in New England, the weather quite has not caught up. That’s why I wanted to turn this recipe into something that was warm and hearty, but also still had elements of freshness and bright notes. This recipe exceeded everything I thought of during my walk, and I hope when you create it, it will exceed your expectations too!

Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Sage

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A warm pasta dish with loads of bright notes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 1 small-medium spaghetti squash
  • 3 large handfuls of fresh spinach, or 1 package frozen spinach drained of liquid
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 1 medium onion
  • fresh parsley
  • a nutty/pepper Parmesan
  • 1 tsp chicken base

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit. Wash, peel, and cut the butternut squash into ~1 inch cubes.
  2. Add a tablespoon of oil and salt and pepper to the squash, tossing to coat, and then roast until tender (20 min) flipping halfway through.
  3. Put on a pot of salted water for the pasta as you continue to prep the sauce
  4. Dice the onion. In a dutch oven with 2 tablespoons of butter, set to medium heat and then add in the onion. Stirring continuously. Once the onions begin to get translucent, add in the sage (dried sage is best, but if you have ground sage that will work as well). Continue to cook until starts to brown.
  5. When the onions have begun to caramelize add in a 1/2 teaspoon of chicken base and 1/2 cup of water. Make sure to get all of the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the raw spinach and a lid to the dutch oven to begin to wilt it down.
  7. About this time, your squash should be ready, and your pasta water boiling. Add the roasted squash to the dutch oven.
  8. Just before you drain your pasta, add one ladle worth of liquid to the pan. (this starchy water will help build up your sauce to cling to your pasta). Then drain and add everything to the pan. Now add your lemon zest.
  9. Stir everything in the pot for a few moments before platting and finishing.
  10. Finish with fresh parsley and LOTS of grated cheese.
  11. ENJOY!

Potato Flowers Bring Mimosa Flowers

I have found a new found appreciation for brunch now that my weekends are not filled with projects or homework assignments.  But I still desire to not change out of my pj’s on the weekend.  The best way to find a compromise of both is to do in home brunches.  This egg and potato dish are so easy to make but looks like it should be an overpriced dish at some fancy brunch place. So skip the crowds and savor this dish with some sparkling mimosas in the comfort of your own home!

Ingredients:

  • 3 red skinned potatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 once cheese (I used fontina but anything will do)
  • 2 tablespoons cream/milk
  • salt and pepper
  • thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter

How to:

  1. Begin by slicing the potatoes nice and thin.  Begin to layer them in a round pie pan in a circular pattern.  Every few slices add in some onion. Until the whole thing looks a bit like a flower.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.  Add dollops of butter scattered around the pan.
  2. Bake in a 350 oven for 25 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Beat the eggs and cream together and then pour evenly over the potatoes. Scatter the cheese around and bake for another 15 minutes until golden.
  4. Easy right?
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Peter Pickled Peppers

With Father’s Day around the corner, I thought it was only appropriate to dedicate this recipe to my Dad.  He was one of the main influences that encouraged me to explore food.  Although he let me be a picky eater, he also made trying new things so tasty and delicious.  He also has a need for heat like no other so these sweet and spicy pickled jalapenos are something he would definitely enjoy.  Make these as the perfect Father’s day gift for your main man to show him you love him!

Ingredients:

  • Jalapenos (8-10)
  • 3/4 c. white vinegar
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (minimum 1 tablespoon but 3 if you want more sweet than heat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch cumin seeds
  • Mason jar with lid

How to:

  1. Begin by prepping the peppers. Slice off the top and try to get as many seeds out as you can.  Then slice into thin rounds, about 1 cm.
  2. Then rinse off the peppers and set aside.
  3. In a sauce pan add in the salt, sugar, vinegar, and water and bring to a low boil.
  4. Stuff your mason jar with the sliced peppers.  Then stick in the peeled clove of garlic into the center of the peppers and the cumin seed.
  5. Once the mixture has come to a boil, turn off and let cool down for a few minutes.
  6. Pour over the pepper mixture and then place on the lid and twist it tight. Let cool to room temperature before moving it into the fridge.
  7. Let sit for 3 days, then crack open and enjoy!
  8. I put mine on top of everything, but specifically these tacos, they were amazing!

Crispy Tofu

For years my sister’s take out order for Chinese food has always been General Tao’s tofu.  At first I guffawed, because no way tofu was gonna taste better than chicken, but then I stole some and grew to realize that I actually liked the texture more than chicken.  Especially with the lightly crispy crust.  This previous memory was at the back of my mind when I walked past the tofu in the grocery store recently, and for the first time I finally decided to buy some. Although you need significant prep time to make these, they really are very simple, use very few ingredients, and taste just like take out! I enjoyed mine with orange ginger sauce, roasted veggies, and brown rice.  You can make these your own with whatever sauce you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • extra firm (or firm) tofu
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 dash paprika
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable)
  • paper towels

How to:

  1. Begin by draining the water from the tofu blocks.
  2. Cut the tofu blocks into about 1 inch cubes.
  3. Gently squeeze out each square trying to get as much liquid out as possible but not breaking the tofu.
  4. Lay paper towels on a cutting board and then place the tofu on top.  Cover the tofu with another layer of paper towels and place a heavy cutting board or cookie sheet.
  5. Once the paper towels are completely wet, replace them.  You will have to do this 2-3 times.
  6. Once the tofu is almost completely dry (I didn’t get it bone dry, but that’s okay).
  7. In a big ziplock bag add in the cornstarch, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Add in the tofu and shake it up.  Try to make sure everything gets coated.
  8. Pour the tofu into a colander to get out any remaining corn starch.
  9. In a deep walled pan add in the coconut oil and heat to medium heat.  Once hot and almost sizzling, add in the tofu gently.  You can test if your oil is ready with a tester piece, you want it to start sizzling when you add it to the pan otherwise it will just absorb the oil.
  10. You may have to cook in 2 batches. Let each piece cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden and crunchy.
  11. Once cooked on every side move to a plate covered in a paper towel.
  12. You can either place the cooked tofu in sauce or drizzle the sauce over the top, either way it will be great.  When you want to eat it in the following days, bake or cook it on the skillet again, instead of microwaving.

Something O-Mazing: Souffle Omelette

At first this was just going to be a breakfast I made for myself and didn’t post, but then I tasted it and I realized I needed to share this.  Especially because it is SO easy. I don’t usually enjoy omelettes, but this is different, this is amazing!  It’s light and airy, but is filled with cheesy goodness.  Now that I know the basics of how to make this I will be experimenting further!  This recipe was inspired by Bon Appetit Magazines instagram, so go check that out! They always post great things!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dill Havarti cheese (you could also use your favorite)
  • 1 pad of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Admittedly my omelette was 2 egg whites with one yolk, but that is because I had an extra egg white from a previous recipe, but you can do a one to one, or any combination if that’s what you have.
  2. In a bowl beat the egg whites until semi soft peaks form.  This will take a few minutes with an electric whisk, and longer by hand.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks.
  4. Take a little bit of the fluffed egg whites and add to the beat yolks and gently fold in. Once well incorporated add this mixture back to the overall egg white mixture.  Gently fold until incorporated.
  5. In a skillet melt the butter on medium low heat.  Once melted, pour in the mixture and smooth over the pan so it makes an even layer to the corners of the pan. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
  6. Let cook for a minute and then add in the shredded cheese, all over the omelette.
  7. Cover and let cook for 3-6 more minutes until the cheese is melted.
  8. Using a spatula go around the bottom of the pan, making sure it is not stuck to the bottom of the pan. Make a gentle crease in the middle and then fold over. Let cook for a few more minutes, then serve and enjoy! If you have some fresh dill or chives, sprinkle on top, but it’s so good!