Tag Archives: Pasta

Feta & Butternut Pasta

Butternut squash. Mmm. This creamy, orange squash is well-documented as one of my favorite bits of produce. I eat it all fall and winter long. Elsewhere on this blog, you can find Butternut Squash Dip, Butternut Mushroom & Ricotta TartButternut Spinach Quiche, Butternut Apple Soup, and Whole Wheat Butternut Ravioli. Look at that diversity! You can do anything with this squash. In an effort to try out even another flavor profile, I tossed up this easy pasta dish with tangy Keepsake Farm feta and sweet butternut.

Feta & Butternut Pasta

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 T. olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven.
  2. Chop onion and add to oil, cooking until softened.
  3. Chop basil and add to onion. Cook until fragrant.
  4. Add creamy garlic dressing and stir.
  5. Cube roasted butternut squash and toss with onions and basil.
  6. Add pasta to pan and toss. Cook over low heat until pasta is hot.
  7. Drizzle remaining olive oil over pasta and toss with crumbled feta.
Feta & Butternut Pasta

Feta & Butternut Pasta


Midweek Celebration Feast

Sometimes events worth celebrating occur when you don’t have time or energy to create a celebration-worthy meal. Last week, my husband and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. Our road trip to Maine, which you can read about in previous posts (here, scroll to the bottom for day one), was our gift to each other, and we were still getting our feet back on the ground in our daily routine, so we didn’t want to do anything too elaborate on the day itself. However, we still wanted to share a special meal together. The SteelStacks Farmer’s Market was that day, so we kept our eyes peeled for something easy yet a little special for dinner.

We ended up with a feast that was ready in less than 30 minutes but felt like we had been working all day! We purchased a smoked chicken breast, which just needed heating up (and provided enough meat for a whole extra meal!). On the side, I microwave roasted some acorn squash. I rarely ever use the microwave for anything aside from defrosting or reheating, but when you are short on time, it can be quite handy! We popped the acorn squash seeds in the oven with the chicken while it heated up to use as a crunch topping on a whole wheat pasta side dish. Served with a green salad, we felt like we were at a restaurant!

Our Easy Anniversary Meal

Ingredients

These ingredients combined to form a full restaurant quality meal!

Entrée Ingredient:

Microwave Roasted Acorn Squash Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash (Heritage Farms CSA)
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 large sage leaves
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Sage & White Wine Pasta Ingredients:

  • 2 portions whole wheat pasta (homemade from the freezer)
  • 12 sage leaves
  • seeds from acorn squash
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c. white wine (we used Autumn Gold from Vyncrest Vineyards)
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • salt & pepper,  to taste
  • Romano cheese, to taste (Klein Farms)

Green Salad:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and cook pasta.
  2. Cut acorn squash in half, parallel to the ridges. Scoop out seeds and reserve.
  3. Put smoked chicken breast in baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot.
  4. Meanwhile, clean the pulp off the squash seeds. Toss seeds with 1 T. olive oil and some chili powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Spread seeds on cookie sheet and add to oven for final 10 minutes of chicken heating time.
  6. Brush each acorn squash half with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder, salt & pepper. Put 1 T. brown sugar in the scooped center of each squash half. Tear 2 sage leaves and place on top of brown sugar.

    Acorn Squash, ready to microwave

    Acorn Squash, ready to microwave

  7. Set squash halves, cut side up, in a deep microwave-safe dish with about 1.5 inches of water in the bottom. Cover with a lid or vented plastic wrap and microwave for 10 minutes or until tender.
  8. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet. Chop garlic and sage leaves. Cook garlic and sage over medium heat until garlic is beginning to soften.
  9. Add white wine to skillet, scraping off any browned bits. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half.
  10. Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss with wine sauce.
  11. Rinse and tear lettuce. Toss with creamy garlic dressing.
  12. Just before serving, sprinkle pasta with toasted squash seeds and Romano cheese.
  13. Slice and plate chicken. Carefully remove squash from microwave dish (I used tongs) and add to plate. Serve pasta and top with toasted squash seeds and grated Romano cheese.
  14. Serve with wine and share with good company.

    Anniversary Dinner

    Anniversary Dinner. After we finished our Wild Blueberry Meade from Maine, we paired this meal with Vyncrest Autumn Gold.


Aw Shucks!

One of the most notable events in this town each year is Musikfest, a 10-day celebration of music, food & beer that takes over all of downtown (and, this year, south side). I began this blog too late to cover it this year, but next time I’ll be sharing my experiences for sure.

The biggest reason (no exaggeration) I go to the festival is to get my hands on an enormous ear of Aw Shucks Corn. If I don’t get to eat this buttery, spicy, savory snack at least once during Musikfest, my year is not complete.

Granted, it is now possible to find Aw Shucks in a couple of other locations, like the Iron Pigs stadium, but it’s just not the same as navigating through the crowd in Volksplatz wielding a large ear of corn and a mug full of beer while listening to a man in a black plague mask play an obsolete bell instrument.

Our Garden

Our teensy garden, overflowing with herbs & tomatoes.

This year, I had some extra tickets at the end of the night and splurged on my very own bottle of Aw Shucks Southwest Seasoning. Oh, the possibilities! Not only will I be able to fulfill my insatiable corn cravings at home, but I can Shucks up anything I want! I am having visions of baked potatoes, shrimp, salad dressing …

It didn’t take long for me to open the canister and spice up dinner … My husband was making some homemade pasta (someday when he lets me photograph him at work, I’ll post that recipe), and I had just plucked some tomatoes and sage from our garden. Um … Pasta, tomatoes, sage, Aw Shucks seasoning? Yep, it’s good. And ridiculously easy!

Aw Shucks Tomato Pasta

Ingredients:

Aw Shucks Pasta Ingredients

All local ingredients for this savory dish.

• 4 entree-sized servings of pasta (homemade makes it extra tasty)
• 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
• a handful of sage leaves
• 4 T. butter
• Aw Shucks Southwest Seasoning, to taste (You can order it on their site! In a true emergency outage of seasoning, use another southwest or Cajun blend)
• Parmesan cheese, to taste (mine is from Klein Farms)
• a few gratings Gouda cheese (optional, my husband snuck it in and it was good! Also from Klein Farms)

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta to al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes in halves or quarters and chop the sage leaves.
  3. Sauté the tomatoes and sage in a small non-stick skillet for a few minutes, just to loosen up the juices and bring out the sage flavor. No oil or butter necessary.
  4. Sprinkle in Aw Shucks seasoning to taste. Stir and remove from heat.
    Tomatoes, Sage, Seasoning

    Such vibrant colors!

  5. Strain pasta. Add butter and toss until coated. Grate in Parmesan and Gouda (if using).

    Pasta and Cheese

    Kevin's homemade pasta, topped with Parmesan and sneakily added Gouda.

  6. Add tomato mixture to pasta mixture and toss.
  7. Serve hot, topped with a little more grated Parmesan and Aw Shucks seasoning.

    Aw Shucks Tomato Pasta

    I want more!!!


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