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Winter Comfort: Butternut Squash And Sage Pasta

Recently I've been cooking lots of cheap eats. Good food with lots of flavor, nutrient dense and easy on the wallet like this butternut squash pasta.

butternut squash cut in half on a cutting board

Photo: meltingyourmouth (flickr)

Butternut squash is great to use in your winter recipes, it's at its best after about 3 months of storage.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and you are all getting ready for some Holiday festivities. I’m not one for shopping, so this year, friends and family can expect a homemade gift from me. Say a jar of jam, a box of buttery cookies or a glittery hand made picture frame. Yes, I am crafty, not only in the kitchen but I’m great with colorful construction paper and glue.

With more time on my hands than usual lately (I’m currently looking for work), I find myself spending more time online. I enjoy hopping around various food sites to see what others have cooking, and I was relieved to come across another blogger who is also feeling the financial pinch – Aarti of Aarti Paarti shared a filling recipe to fill you up for only $4! Along with her colorful blog, Aarti and her hubby produce fun cooking vlogs full of quick tips, savvy ethnic fare and sometimes a furry puppet or two, it’s fun.

I wish I had a special someone to film my cooking romps in the kitchen. The only audience I have had lately is my dog Casey. And well while she isn’t complaining (not with a full bowl of good eats), she can’t hold a camcorder or do editing. I miss my buddy Roger of Soul Cocina. We used to cook together and he often helped me with my video clips. Makes me miss San Francisco. Ah, my resolution for 2010 is to get back to the Golden State. California or bust!

For the time being I am cooking lots of cheap eats. Good food with lots of flavor, nutrient dense and easy on the wallet. Using some leftover sage from my turkey dinner herb pack I whipped up a nice meal featuring roasted butternut squash and earthy mushrooms. Of course lots of rich butter and crunchy walnuts weren’t so bad either. Wilted spinach rounds it out with some nice fresh greenness. Eat well, stay warm.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pasta with Sage, Walnuts, Spinach and Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound) peeled and cubed into small chunks
  • 1 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat pasta (your choice, I used orecchiette)
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • salt and fresh black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place butternut squash in a baking dish, drizzle the olive oil over it and season with salt and pepper. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes or until squash is fork tender but not mushy. Remove from heat.
  3. Boil pasta according to package until al dente. Set aside, but keep warm to avoid sticking. Toss with a little olive oil to avoid clumpy pasta.
  4. In a medium skillet melt butter over medium heat until lightly golden and nutty in aroma. Add onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and mushrooms, cook for about 5 minutes. Add apple cider and deglaze the bottom of the skillet making sure to scrape all those yummy brown bits off the bottom. Add sage, walnuts, pasta and mix together. Add the squash and spinach and season with salt and pepper.
Alex Lopez

Alex Lopez , aka The Food Diva, has spiced up the culinary scene in San Francisco, Florida, Chicago, and now Austin. Alex works as a natural foods chef teaching cooking classes and developing recipes. Alex has appeared on The Food Network, Cooking Channel and various local TV spots doing live cooking segments.

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