Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce

As I mentioned in my focaccia post earlier this week I decided to plant quite a few herbs. Today I am sharing with you what I opted to make with the fresh sage I picked… A Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce. This was the first time I had planted sage and while I have purchased it a few times in the supermarket, there is really nothing like growing your own herbs and vegetables. Although, the tomatoes, cucumber and eggplant I planted are in fact fruits thanks to the seeds inside of them and because they all come from the flower of the plant. Back to the sage though, the leaves were enormous and so fragrant.

I started by peeling and chopping up a small butternut squash. I usually take the easy route and buy butternut squash already chopped, but since it’s not Fall yet it wasn’t available at my local supermarket. I did learn though that peeling and chopping up a small butternut squash is much easier than a large one. Next, I tossed it with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Next, I boiled some pasta. Now, I would stick with penne or farfalle for this dish. I just find that it mixes better with the sauce and the size of that pasta is a good ratio for the small chunks of butternut squash. And finally, I made the browned butter sage sauce. In a large skillet, I combined half a stick of butter along with my fresh sage leaves over medium-low heat. I let the butter cook until it was beginning to brown and then added in minced garlic and cooked it for a minute more. Now, you need the sage leaves to crisp up so you can crumble them into the dish. That won’t happen though until you add the garlic to the melted butter and everything begins to sizzle. Make sure you don’t overcook the butter or the garlic or your sauce will be bitter. After the minute, I removed the pan from the heat, removed the sage leaves and added in the cooked pasta and roasted butternut squash. I crumbled the sage and then added it back to the skillet. I gave everything a good toss to make sure it was evenly coated with the browned butter and then tossed in some parmesan cheese and dinner was ready!

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce

Ingredients:

1 small to medium butternut squash, 2 pounds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces pasta*

1/4 cup unsalted butter

18-24 fresh sage leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

*Ideal pasta would be a penne or farfalle

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Peel the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and then cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch cubes. Transfer the cubes to a large baking sheet and drizzle with the oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper on top. Toss the cubes to evenly coat them with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, tossing them halfway through the cooking time. Set aside.

Cook the pasta per the directions on the box. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat add the butter and sage leaves and cook until the butter begins to brown. Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute. Make sure not to let the butter or garlic burn as the flavor will become bitter then. Remove from the heat and use a fork or slotted spoon to remove the sage leaves. They should be crispy.

Add the roasted butternut squash and cooked pasta to the skillet. Crumble the sage on top. Return the skillet to low-heat and toss everything a few times to evenly coat the pasta and squash with the browned butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the parmesan cheese in and serve.

Recipe modified from The Spruce Eats

Homemade Pickles

Pickles, you either love them or hate them. It’s one of those food items that there doesn’t seem to be an in between about. I am on the “love them” side of the fence so when my cucumber plant started producing more cucumbers that I could possibly eat or give away I decided to turn them into one of my favorite snacks.

To begin, I sliced two cucumbers into spears. I first sliced each of the cucumbers in half and then sliced those halves into halves or thirds depending on the size of the cucumbers. Next, I placed the cucumbers into a 32oz. wide mouth jar. I topped the cucumbers with chopped dill and smashed garlic cloves and tucked a bay leaf on the inside of the jar.

In a liquid measuring cup I combined water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper and stirred everything together until the salt dissolved. I sampled the mixture to ensure that it had the right about of sweetness and spiciness.

I then poured the mixture into the jar with the cucumbers.

And then sealed it and refrigerated it for at least 24 hours before trying one of the pickles.

Now, my pickles were more on the spicy side than sweet side, but delicious nonetheless. If you would prefer a sweeter pickle, like a bread & butter one, increase your sugar amount, if you just want a delicious pickle without the sweet or spicy aspect I would omit the red pepper flakes. One more thing to note, make sure you are starting with cucumbers that have a nice crunch to them. They will hold up much better, and still have that crunch, after sitting in the water/vinegar mixture. You could also try this recipe with other goodies from your garden… Carrots, sting beans, or even asparagus.

Happy pickling!

Homemade Pickles

Ingredients:

2 medium-to-large cucumbers

1 cup water, at room temperature or cooler

1 cup rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 bay leaf

Directions:

Slice the cucumbers into spears. Slice the cucumber in half. Then slice each half into quarters. If your cucumbers are on the thinner side then only slice the halves into halves as well. Use your best judgment. Alternatively, you could also slice the cucumbers into rounds

Place the cucumbers inside of the jar you will be using. Make sure the jar is tall enough to leave about 1 inch of space between the cucumbers and the top of the jar. This recipe is ideal for a 32oz. jar.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Give everything a few good stirs until the salt has fully dissolved.

Top the cucumbers with the dill and garlic and place the bay leaf on the inside of the jar. Pour the water mixture into the jar until the cucumbers are fully submerged. Seal the jar and refrigerate at least 24 hours before enjoying.

Recipe modified from Cookie and Kate