Saturday, November 16, 2013

Butternut squash posing as pasta. Whoever would have thought?

I had to share this. I took it yesterday morning - he was so cuddly with his sister - I brought out the camera and he totally posed. 

I made this for dinner last weekend. It was a hit. And, I think that I may make it for dinner again tonight. Is it weird that if I make something that I like that I want to make it over and over?

It reminds me, I think that I have may have said this before, but when my mom made lasagna when we were kids. And then she made it all the time. I am not complaining - trust me - she made good lasagna - but we seemed to have it a lot. And now I know why. It was pretty easy to put together,  you can make them and stick them in the freezer - defrost and cook - and it's delicious! And considering there was something on every night of the week - having a fully stocked freezer was a must.

I haven't got into freezing meals. I have friends who do a ton of it. They freeze individual dishes so that they can pull them out for lunch or dinner - and they meal is ready. I think that it's brilliant. There are a few reasons why I think that I don't do this: 1. We have a pull out freezer in the fridge - which makes it a bit of a challenge to add in containers; 2. We have a small deep freeze - that at times, I'm not going to lie has been a little like a black hole - you put something in, and then you put something else in, and something else... and before you know it you can't remember what's at the bottom. We did a big clean out several months ago - and we turfed some stuff that probably should not have been missed - chicken, steaks...; 3. We don't have a microwave - not that you need one - but it's much easier to heat something up in a microwave in the same dish that it defrosted in; 4. I think that I just really prefer making something in the moment and eating it and having it for leftovers.

I think that if we had kids - freezing the meals would be a must. And I think that if we had a stand up deep freeze - then I would be able to see what is in there at all times and it would be easier for things not to get buried.

Anyways - let's talk this dish. Similar to my Zucchini as Pasta dish - HERE - this one used butternut squash. I LOVE butternut squash. I almost always either make a soup with it - or chop it up and add it to a hash type dish.

Butternut squash 'pasta'

1 medium sized butternut squash
1 medium sized onion - diced
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts - diced
1/2 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves - minced or grated
1 red pepper - thinly sliced
2 cups mushrooms - thinly chopped
1 cup light ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Using a peeler - peel thin lengthwise strips of the squash. Once you get to the center- it's time stop. I wrap my squash up and use it for soup or in a stir-fry.

In a skillet - with a drizzle of olive oil - saute the onion until it becomes translucent. For about 10-15 minutes. Add in the chicken and continue cooking until the chicken is tender. Add in the garlic and the white wine. Scrape up all the flavourful bits and then add in the squash. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add in the pepper and mushrooms. Continue cooking until the squash is el dente and the vegetables are at a consistency that you like.

Reduce the heat and stir in the ricotta and about half of the parmesan. Let it coat the squash and vegetables, and let it simmer for a couple of minutes until the ricotta is nice and warm.

Serve immediately with another sprinkle of parmesan. And enjoy.

It's not pasta - but to me it's lighter and more flavourful and much healthier. You could make this vegetarian, just taking out the chicken. And could make it vegan - removing the chicken and cheeses - and adding a bit of vegetable stock to give it more of a sauce. 

I hope that you're enjoying your Saturday - breathing in the sun if it's out where you are.



No comments: