Easy Butternut Squash Pasta

Butternut Squash pasta
Sometimes peeling a butternut squash and roasting it before using it just seems like too much, so I liked this recipe. I had never grated a butternut squash, but it was super easy and I really liked this meal. I’ll definitely make it many times in the future! This recipe comes from Bon Appetit.

Easy Butternut Squash Pasta

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 5 c. shredded butternut squash (from about 1/2 peeled medium squash; shredded with the coarse grating attachment on a food processor or on a box grater)
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh sage
  • 1 lb. short curled pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add squash and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta and 1/2 c. pasta cooking liquid to squash and stir to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Stir in 1/2 c. Parmesan. Divide pasta among bowls; top with more Parmesan.

Sichuan Green Beans

Sichuan Green BeansThis recipe is part of my arsenal of great, fast recipes that I really like. I frequently get a Bountiful Basket, and when there’s green beans in it, this is most likely the recipe I turn to. I also love that it’s a one-dish meal. I usually just make some rice and serve some cut fruit with it for dinner. It comes from The Best International Recipe (America’s Test Kitchen).

Sichuan Green Beans

2 T. soy sauce
2 T. water
1 T. dry sherry or rice cooking wine
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. corn starch
1/4 t. ground white pepper
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 t. dry mustard
2 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. green beans, stem ends snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 lb. ground pork (I usually double this, because this is what my kids will eat)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
3 scallions, sliced thinly
1 t. toasted sesame oil

Stir together all the ingredients from the soy sauce to dry mustard.  Set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over high heat until just smoking.  Add the green beans and stir-fry for a few minutes until you they are crisp-tender, and are shriveled and blackened in some spots, about 5-8 minutes (reduce the heat if the beans darken too quickly).  Transfer the beans to a large plate.

Reduce your heat to medium-high and add ground meat to the pan, breaking the meat into pieces until no pink remains. about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add the sauce to the skillet and cook, tossing constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from heat, and stir in the scallions and sesame oil, then spoon over the beans and serve with rice.

Creamy Carbonara

Creamy CarbonaraI love this recipe, and I always think that I have already posted this recipe, but no! This is one of my favorite go-to recipes when I haven’t gotten to the grocery store or at the end of the month when funds are low. It’s such a delicious recipe–the eggs become creamy, and the sauce is mildly garlicky, but not enough to turn off my kids. My kids fight over the bacon, so I usually double the amount that the recipe calls for. This really is a great, quick dinner. It comes from the The Best of  America’s Test Kitchen 2007 Annual.

Creamy Carbonara

serves 4-6

1 lb. dry spaghetti
3 fresh large eggs
8 oz. thick-cut bacon, cubed (I usually double the amount)
1 c. freshly grated Pecorino
2 T. heavy cream
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. pepper
1/2 c. dry white wine
Sea salt

1. Bring about 4 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Whisk the eggs, Pecorino Romano, and cream together in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 2 T. of the bacon fat. Add the garlic and pepper to the skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk the garlic mixture in to the egg mixture.

3. Add the wine to the skillet and simmer over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove browned bits, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk the wine mixture into the egg mixture.

4. Meanwhile, add the salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Immediately pour the egg mixture over the pasta and toss to combine with 1/2 c. of the reserved cooking water. Add the bacon and thin the sauce with the remaining cooking water as necessary. Serve immediately.

Note: Curdled eggs will ruin this dish. To prevent this from happening, be sure to whisk constantly when adding the hot ingredients to the egg mixture.