Posts Tagged ‘butternut squash’

Well, it’s been a challenging couple of weeks on the M&M front; first the hurricane and then my computer decided to die on me. Consequently, I feel like Thanksgiving has snuck up on me. I don’t think I will be making a full Thanksgiving meal this year, however I will do a Thanksgiving-inspired menu. I might include this Angel Hair with Butternut Squash and Sage as a side dish, because there really should a pasta to make it a holiday.

This Farinata would make a great gluten-free appetizer to snack on while the rest of the meal cooks. You can change the toppings to suit your mood, but I liked the olive and cheese combination.

Eggplant Caponata is always a good appetizer as well, and this version is a little Thanksgiving-inspired, with the use of cinnamon.

We usually make a vegetarian option which tends to be a Lasagna or some Stuffed Mushrooms. I always make extra though, because invariably the meat-eaters want them too.

Butternut Squash Soup flavored with apples and sage is a fantastic way to start the meal. I can’t get enough butternut squash in the fall.

Thanksgiving requires a mashed vegetable of some sort,  so I either go with these Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Prosciutto or some Parsnip Puree.

And of course, we can’t forget the cranberry sauce. I ALWAYS make this Brandied Cranberry Sauce so I have plenty leftover. Stay tuned for some Turkey Pot Pie!

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As part of my pre-Thanksgiving feast, I made homemade roasted butternut squash ravioli and I hand-rolled the pasta. Of course, I ended up with a lot of filling and I was tired of rolling out the pasta sheets. So, instead of making extra ravioli I made some cannelloni later on. Cover them with a white sauce with blue cheese, and they’re delicious. I wish I had more leftovers. (I made the original filling vegetarian, but this is how I prefer it…)

Roasted Butternut Squash Cannelloni with Blue Cheese

1 butternut squash, chopped

6 sage leaves

3 amaretti cookies

1 cup mascarpone

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/2 cup white wine

3 ounces blue cheese such as Stilton

1 container cannelloni shells

Roast the squash at 375 degrees after seasoning it with salt and pepper for about 45 minutes. Let cool and add to a food processor with the sage, amaretti, mascarpone, stock, half the nutmeg, and parmesan. Blend together and taste for seasoning.

Meanwhile, cook the cannelloni in salted water until they are about half-cooked. Remove to an oiled baking sheet to cool. Stuff with the filling.

In a saucepan, combine the butter and flour and cook for a couple minutes. Add the milk and whisk until it starts to thicken. Whisk in the wine, blue cheese and remaining nutmeg. Season with salt. Spoon a little onto the bottom of a flat baking dish and line up the stuffed cannelloni in the dish. Top with the remaining sauce and make sure they are covered. You can grate some additional parmesan over the top if you wish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the top starts to brown. Let cool a few minutes before serving.


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It’s officially fall, although it may not feel like it yet. And that means apple picking and finding all sorts of ways to use the 30 pounds of apples we have in the fridge. I always go straight to butternut squash soup because it’s an easy and healthy soup and you can make it with all sorts of variations. I sometimes fry up some sage leaves to make them crispy and sprinkle them on top. Or you can crisp up some pancetta or prosciutto in the oven and sprinkle that over the top.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, diced

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 apple, diced

2 tablespoons chopped sage

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock (can be substituted for vegetable stock)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Saute the onion, garlic, and squash in the olive oil for a few minutes until they start to brown. Season with salt and pepper and add the apple, rosemary, and half the sage. Continue to saute for another minute, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the stock and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or so, until a knife can be inserted and removed easily from a piece of squash. The smaller the dice, the quicker it will cook. Add the nutmeg and the rest of the sage. Using an immersion blender (or a food processor working in batches- be careful because it is hot), puree the soup. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

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I can’t decide what kind of lasagna I like best. I love the traditional meat one as well as my favorite mushroom lasagna. I also make one with veggies that’s pretty delicious. This one is definitely up there. It’s a little sweet, a little salty. Perfect for the first real week of fall. We’re starting to see root veggies in the green market and it’s always exciting to see the changing seasonal produce. I’m not a huge fan of ricotta generally (there are some exceptions….), so I generally don’t use it in lasagna, but you could add some to the cheese mixture if you want to. Just a note on mine here, I used whole wheat flour and whole wheat lasagna noodles, but you certainly don’t have to.

Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 butternut squash, chopped into 1″ dice

1 bunch carrots, chopped into 1″ dice

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour, AP or whole wheat

2 cups whole milk

12 sage leaves, chopped

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 amaretti cookies

1 1/2 cup grated Italian fontina or sharp, aged pecorino

1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1 package lasagna noodles, regular or whole wheat

18 basil leaves

Combine the squash, carrots, half the olive oil, brown sugar, half the nutmeg, maple syrup, half the salt and pepper on a sheet tray. Roast at 450 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.

Meanwhile, make the bechamel by combining the flour and butter in a pan for a couple minutes. Add the milk and the remainder of the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

Combine the roasted vegetables with the remainder of the olive oil, amaretti, and sage leaves in a blender. Blend into a thick puree. You can thin it out with the stock until it’s the right consistency, but don’t make it too watery.

Put a thin layer of the vegetable puree on the bottom of a buttered lasagna pan. Put a layer of noodles and then a layer of puree and a layer of bechemel sauce. Sprinkle some of each grated cheese on top and spread out some basil leaves. Continue to layer in the same order until you have finished the puree and bechemel. Sprinkle more cheese over the top and drizzle some additional olive oil over the top.

Bake covered with aluminum foil for 40 minutes at 450 degrees. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes until serving.

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