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Monday, October 23, 2006

Roasted Butternut Squash & Greens Pasta

Inspiried by Megan the Vegan, I stopped by Groceries of the Orient on Sunday. I was originally searching for yuba, which I think I found and didn’t buy, but ended up buying a bunch of other things.
















I bought some fried tofu pockets, chayote (to stuff), lychee candy (a must have!), Panko breadcrumbs, spring roll sheets, Fanta and Mangosteen Juice drink (for fun), wonton wrappers (for potstickers), bok choy (to sauté), red bean jelly ice cream treats, taro buns (worth a try), a tofu cutlet, asian pears, and an agar agar Jello-type mix (to test jello shots with agar).

We tried the red bean jelly ice cream treats and they are so different. I'm not used to eating whole beans in my ice cream, that's for sure! Stay tuned how the rest of the purchases turn out.

For dinner Sunday night, we finally used our butternut squash for Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens Pasta. I think it has been about a year since we last made this. It was so good last time and was great again this time.
















Although it has many ingredients and looks intimidating, this recipe is quite easy to make. Instead of half-and-half, I used soymilk; instead of a granny smith apple, I used one of our recently picked apples; and instead of escarole, I used green swiss chard.

Here’s the recipe for it, which is adapted from the Star Tribune newspaper:


Sweet Roasted Butternut and Greens Pasta
(6 servings)

3 ½ to 4-lb. butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-size chunks
1 medium to large onion, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 large granny smith apple, sliced
2 big handfuls of washed and dried escarole, torn
1/3 c. tightly packed torn fresh basil leaves
16 large torn fresh sage leaves
5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 tbsp tightly packed brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ c. half and half
1 lb. Italian bow tie pasta, freshly cooked in salted water to tender, but still a little firm, and drained
1 to 1 ½ c. freshly shredded Asiago cheese

Slip a big shallow sheet pan (or 2 smaller ones) into the oven. Preheat oven to 450°.

In a big bowl, toss together squash, onion, greens, basil, sage, garlic, olive oil, red pepper, brown sugar and salt and pepper. Pull out the oven rack with the sheet pan on it. Carefully turn the squash blend onto the sheet. Spread it out and bake 25 minutes, turning twice, or until squash is tender.

Once the squash is tender, turn on the broiler to caramelize it. Watch closely, turning pieces often. Cook about 5 minutes; you want crusty brown edges onto the squash and wilted almost crisp greens.

Scrape everything into a serving bowl. Add the half and half, hot pasta and 1 cup of the cheese. Toss to blend, tasting for salt and pepper and enough cheese. Add apple and adjust seasonings; serve hot.

Peeling winter squash: Tough skin and hard flesh make winter squash annoying to peel. A relatively easy way to sidestep most of the work and the dangerous knife slips is to do the following: With an 8-inch chef’s knife, halve the squash lengthwise. Flip it cut-side down onto your cutting board and cut crosswise into 1-inch slices. Now it’s easy to strip away the peel and seeds. Cut the crescents of squash into small pieces.

11 comments:

  1. ooohh...I've been dying to find some chayote 'round here :D

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  2. Squash! :)

    It's such a wonderful food!

    Love all that stuff you got from the Asian market...makes me want to go on my way home tonight...I just might!

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  3. Whole beans in ice cream sounds very interesting and strange. You are very daring!

    The Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens Pasta looks and sounds delicious. I'll definitely have to try this one. At least they're all ingredients I'm familiar with :)

    The tofu pockets sound good. You'll have to tell me what they're like. I bought some more tofu. I'm looking forward to frying some up for snacking and salads. I'll let you know how they turn out.

    Love You -

    Diane

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  4. You guys got a lot of fun new products. I really need to find an Asian market around here. The butternut squash pasta looks and sounds awesome. I never would have thought about putting all of those ingredients in there together.

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  5. That sure is pretty pasta! I never think to buy the bowties.

    I have a new supermarket size Asian market I love to shop. I discover new items every time I go. I haven't seen the tofu pockets thought. What are going to put in there? And have you cooked with fresh tofu? I sure see lots of people buying it. My new favorite thing is the dried tofu. But, according to Megan, I also like rubber bands!

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  6. Oh yum! I can't wait to try this recipe. I love love love butternut squash, and I am always searching for new ways to serve it.

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  7. Looks like you guys have been cooking up a storm while I was away. Everything looks wonderful.

    I love visiting the Asian grocery, though sometimes it is difficult to find exactly what you need and unfortunately no one at our grocery seems to understand any English.

    BTW - I saw that you guys met up with Catherine. How cool is that? It is so fun to meet other bloggers.

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  8. Apples in pasta sounds really good. I love sweet in my savory. I'll give it a try.

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  9. the food looks awesome! i was also on the search in china town for yuba (*megan the vegan*) you guys really scored there.

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  10. Vicki - did you end up finding any? The stuff I found looked like it wasn't going to be easy to work with so I figured I'd wait awhile and try again

    Taylor - there's this restaurant here that does a butternut squash ravioli with granny smith apples and it is soooooo good!

    Jody - I agree, sometimes it's hard to find things, but most items have a little cow or whatever so you can tell what it's made from, which helps.

    Judy - this recipe is relatively easy too and stays great for leftovers. Hope you give it a try.

    Atxvegn - I'm not sure what I'm going to put in the tofu things...I'll have to see what Megan did with them. Fresh tofu...do you mean the water packed kind or the homemade? Never made homemade, but done the water packed :)

    VV - you'll be shopping soon and probably buy a whole bunch of cool stuff. Can't wait!

    Diane - I'm so excited that you bought some more tofu...what are you going to do with it?
    We definitely have some more of those bean ice cream bars, so we'll have to share.

    Nikki - I love squash too. So many things to do with it. Yum!

    Jeff - what would you use chayote for? WWJD? :)

    -Crystal

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