Tag Archives: Butternut Squash

Pasta Sausage Squash and Swiss Chard

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This is the first meal this year that was something we haven’t already had a million times over the years. I guess I just haven’t been interested in cooking yet. We have been very busy but we are always busy so that’s no excuse. It might also have something to do with my stupid cough that is better but not completely gone. I start the day with a list of things I want/need to do then I get home from work and am exhausted and end up doing nothing. It’s getting pretty old.

IMG_4948So I am going to thank you for getting me back in the kitchen. I made a list of things I want to make and last night started two of them. I wanted to make something new to share with you all. According to my family we had a keeper for dinner last night. The first question my husband asks me is if I wrote it down so I can recreate it. How rude of him to think I didn’t; he knows I tend to make things even from a recipe more to our tastes mostly out of necessity. Sometimes I can’t find what the recipe puts in their dishes so I improvise with what I have on hand. I hope you all do that; though through some of my experiences at a few of my cooking classes I hold at my home this is not always the case. In his defense he and my son keep bringing up a Mahi Mahi recipe I didn’t keep track of and have never been able to replicate it again. I don’t even try anymore.
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Last night I gave my fam an option of a couple of meals; my daughter said past and sausage two things we love. So that was it and here it is for you.

Pasta Sausage Squash and Swiss Chard
Serves 6
This would be a great weeknight meal, it comes together pretty quickly
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Total Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box of penne pasta
  2. 2 cups diced butternut squash (1/2 inch pieces) mine was larger than this
  3. 4 cups lightly packed chopped swiss chard
  4. 3 links sweet italian sausage casing removed and broken up (diced for a chunk works too)
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
  6. 2-3 cloves garlic
  7. 2 tablespoon butter
  8. 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  9. 2 tablespoon flour
  10. 2 1/2 cups milk
  11. 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  12. kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  13. pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 2 minutes. Add the squash and cook for 6 minutes. add the chard and cook until the pasta is tender. 1 to 2 minutes longer. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Combine sausage, shallot and butter to a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is soft about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the thyme and cook another minute. Sprinkle with flour cook stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook whisking occasionally until the sauce starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese season with salt and pepper to taste. sprinkle with a little crushed red pepper to your liking. Cook until the cheese melts and the sauce is thick.
  3. Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta mixing to coat, serve with extra grated cheese.
Notes
  1. You can find butternut squash generally peeled and diced in large supermarkets to make it easier
Adapted from Eating Well
Adapted from Eating Well
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
 

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Corn Chowder – Family Friends and Food

We went to visit a friend in her newly renovated camp in Millinocket Maine. Kind of sounds like a theme with us this years.  It is around a 6 hour drive north; I did keep my eye out looking for a sight of a moose; mostly so we didn’t hit one as there were many signs on the way that said to watch out for them.  But I really wanted to see one; I did have to laugh a couple of times at myself, did I really think I would be able to see a moose while driving 75+ miles an hour on the highway? I did not – not any all weekend!

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We had a wonderful meal Friday night of Roast Beef, Gravy, Baked Potato, Butternut Squash, Green Beans and Yorkshire pudding; all were excellent!  We stayed up pretty late talking, drinking and laughing; when I woke up, way too early around 6am – I know I have issues! I was the only one that got to see the sunrise and it was pretty AMAZING!  The house was extremely quiet, the view unbelievable and the water’s edge was so incredibly close. While I was sitting there I had a kind of epiphany.  I have had a pretty great year so far!!! I am very blessed and extremely grateful for my family and friends.  I am very proud of my kids; I am thrilled they are happy and healthy and that we have a very close relationship.  I am grateful for the friends I have, the ones that live close by and I see often and the ones that are further away and that I was able to spend more time with them this year.  I started a cooking class and a blog that are both getting a lot of positive attention. People seem really interested in knowing more about both, even all the way up in Maine.

We had a Halloween party Saturday night that we all helped get ready for.  We had Swedish Meatballs, Corn Chowder and a yummy cake to make.  I was in charge of the Corn Chowder.  I will admit that I have only made this once maybe twice ever.  My family doesn’t like it so I don’t have a “set” recipe in my head.  I do however enjoy making soups/chowders and believe it or not my class on Thursday was a soup/chowder class.  It must have been a sign. I do tend to use things up in the fridge in my soups.  So I started by chopping up onions, celery and julienned some carrots. Sautéed them in some olive oil and a little butter; Thyme is one of my favorite herb for chowders, so that was my base and it help build a yummy soup from there.  Everyone, except Rich, loved it.  Told you he doesn’t like it!

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Corn Chowder

2-3 or even if you dare 4-5 pieces of crispy bacon

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Large Onion chopped

2 Stalks of Celery diced

2-3 Carrots julienned

5 Tablespoons flour

1 Teaspoon thyme

2 Cups Chicken Stock

4 Cups Milk

1 Cup Heavy Cream  by using more milk it lightens it up quite a bit)

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon fresh crack black pepper

3 Large potatoes diced

2 Bags of frozen Sweet Corn (or 5 ears of fresh ears of cut off their cob and blanched in some salted water for 3 minutes)

In a large stockpot over medium high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp.  Remove the bacon and set aside.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, carrot and celery and butter to the fat, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.  Stir in the flour, salt and pepper and thyme, cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and the potatoes bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.  Add the corn and the heavy cream.  Season to taste, serve hot and garnish with crumbled bacon.

GO SOX!!!