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
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.
Thanks to TikTok there are so many viral food trends / hacks / challenges that have gone viral. While I may not have the app myself that doesn’t mean I am immune to them. There are some I am willing to try and others that are a quick no. I did try Dalgona Chocolate and while it was good, I have not made in since. As I mentioned in that blog post, I don’t see it worth the extra time. And while I may like pickles, I will pass on Pickle Juice Salad Dressing. I did recently make my own Hot Cocoa Bombs and those were a delicious success that I will definitely be making again. A post will be coming soon. Another success, one of the latest trends, Baked Feta Pasta.
This is probably one of the simplest things I have ever made. After preheating my oven to 400 F. I combined two pints of grape tomatoes, a quartered shallot and olive oil in a 9×13-inch baking dish. I seasoned everything with salt and red pepper flakes and then tossed it all together. I placed an 8oz block of feta cheese in the center and then drizzled the top of the feta with olive oil and placed a few sprigs of thyme over the tomatoes. I baked this in the oven for about 40 minutes. While the feta was in the oven, I cooked a box of pasta per the box directions, reserving a 1/2 cup of the water. I would avoid using spaghetti or angel hair pasta. I opted to use Rotini.
Once the feta began to melt and the tomatoes were bursting, I knew it was ready.
I removed it from the oven and added my cooked pasta along with the reserved pasta water and used tongs to toss everything together. And that was it! Dinner was ready in less than an hour and didn’t require much effort on my part. And yes, in case you are wondering, this did reheat well.
While I kept mine simple, you can add in spinach, garlic, basil and so forth to add in some extra flavor. One thing I will do different next time, add in more shallots. They have a nice sweetness when baked in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In 9×13-inch baking dish combine the grape tomatoes, shallot and most of the olive oil (reserve 3 tablespoons to drizzle over the feta). Season with salt and red pepper flakes and toss to combine.
Place the feta in the center of the tomato mixture and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Place the thyme sprigs over the tomatoes and bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are bursting and the feta cheese is golden on top.
While the feta is in the oven, bring a large pot of water to boil, season with salt and cook pasta per the box directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.
Add the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water to the dish with the tomatoes and feta and toss to combine.
Quick and easy dinners… Something we can all appreciate and are always in search of. This pasta dish is ready in about 30 minutes and you can switch up some of the ingredients to change the flavors. Instead of using regular canned diced tomatoes you can try one that is seasoned with different spices and instead of orecchiette pasta you can easily substitute small shells. And maybe instead of spinach try arugula. As you can see the possibilities are endless.
1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
16 ounces orecchiette
5 ounce bag of baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage meat and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add the scallion white and rosemary and cook until the scallions have wilted. Add the tomatoes with their juices and 1/2 cup of the boiling water. Let simmer while the pasta cooks.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the directions on the box for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water then drain the pasta.
Add the pasta to the tomato sauce along with the spinach and half of the scallion green. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce and continue cooking until the spinach has wilted. Gradually add the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and remove from the heat.
Sprinkle the cheese and remaining scallions over the pasta when serving.
I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but, I’m always on the search for quick and easy meals that flavorful, don’t require a slew of ingredients and gives me enough leftovers for a few days. This pasta dish checks all of those boxes.
I started by cooking the pasta. Then, I sautéed garlic, browned the sausage, added frozen peas and finally heavy cream and butter. After bringing it to a boil I added in the pasta and that was it. You can’t top something as simple as that.
Rigatoni with Sausage & Peas
1 pound rigatoni
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage meat or sausages with casings removed
12 ounces frozen green peas
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cooking for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente and then drain.
In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat and sauté garlic. Add the sausage and brown. Then add the green peas and simmer for 5 minutes. Slowly add the heave cream and butter and bring to a slight boil. Cook for 5 minutes and then toss with cooked pasta and top with parmesan cheese.