Sometimes I wish I were a food writer. I'd love to write columns about cooking, grocery shopping, vegetable gardening, local foods, tea . . . .
Every month, there are 2 food pieces in City Revealed, the local mag I write for: recipes by a local chef who teaches cooking classes, and a restaurant review. But I'm the feature writer there, not the food writer, so no place for my food writing there.
I guess that's one reason I have a blog. Today it's a food blog!
So here's a dish I made last night.
The recipe was "Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens over Bow-Tie Pasta," from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper, a wonderful cookbook my sister got for me last Christmas. I've enjoyed several recipes I've tried from here already. They're easy and sumptuous.
I'd wanted to make this for a while because I love vegetarian pasta dishes, and my family loves squash. But I didn't try it because the pasta's finish included half-and-half AND cheese (I've developed lactose intolerance).
When I ran across the recipe again while trying to plan the week's dinners, I couldn't resist. I decided to try it without the half-and-half (I used a bit of cooking water from the pasta) and not as much cheese. It was both digestible and delicious!
Another reason I was hesitant to try this is the squash. I don't like the idea of peeling and cutting up uncooked winter squash. But the authors suggested a method that made it not so difficult:
cut the squash in half. Put it cut-side-down on a cutting board. Slice into strips, which are then easier to peel. Not EASY, but easier.
It's not difficult to find winter squash here this time of year, and it was on sale this week. I found one just the right size. I have never used escarole (the "greens"), but the grocery store had it, too. There wasn't any fresh basil or sage that the recipe suggested, so I used dried basil and made a mental note to try this again in the fall when I still have fresh basil. I need to plant some sage as well.
Roasting the squash, onion, garlic, and escarole with basil, olive oil, and a bit of sugar made them tender and tasty. The idea was to caramelize them a bit (and wilt the escarole).
The only change I'd make to the recipe would be to add the escarole to the roasting pan just for the last 10 minutes so it wouldn't burn. Also, Splendid Table thinks that 1 pound of pasta is the right amount for 4 people. I think that's too much. Since Eli doesn't like pasta (I know, how can you not like pasta?), I halved the recipe and it was enough for me, Robbie, and Bruce, with a bit left over for my lunch today.
I served it with Jim Lahey's no-knead bread--actually Mark Bittman's 4-hour version and crudites.
So what are you cooking?