Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Squash

Well, the CSA is finally over. (In case you've never been subjected to it, a CSA is when you get your vegetables directly from the farmer on a monthly or weekly basis.) In theory, the CSA is a great idea. In practice, it can be stressful and overwhelming.

I finally got used to my CSA, because the buddy is bigger now and I am once again cooking a lot of good meals. During the summer, at the beginning of the CSA, Babe and I were relying on the kindness of others to get fed.

All in all, though, it was as good run, and I'm glad we did it.

This time, I found myself with lots of winter squash and some gigantic leeks. So I made this:

Savory Winter Squash Casserole
  • 4 lbs. Winter Squash (I don't know how much 4 pounds is. I had an acorn squash and a celebration squash)
  • 1 lb. Ziti, Penne, or Rotini Pasta (I used 1/2 a pound)
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil (I didn't use this much EVOO)
  • 2 T Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Large Leeks*
  • 1/2 Small Onion*
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 t Salt
  • 1 t Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 C Water (or white wine, if you have it)
  • 1/3-1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2-3 T Fresh Parsley (I didn't have any of this)

1. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. (You can set the seeds aside for roasting later if you like.)

2. Place the squash halves upside down on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Add about one inch of water to the baking sheet, and bake at 400F for 45-60 minutes, until soft.

3. Remove squash from baking sheet and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Note: you can do these three steps earlier in the day, or the day before and store in fridge. (I did this the day before!)

4. While the squash cooling, cook the pasta in boiling water (salted “like the sea,” Matt says). Cook for 3 minutes less than the cooking time on the package. Then drain and set aside.

5. While the pasta is cooking, coarsely chop the garlic, leeks and onion. Then remove the squash from the skins with a spoon.

6. Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the leeks, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent but make sure the garlic does not burn.

7. Add the squash and 1/2 cup of water/wine, stirring until a thick sauce is formed. Add extra water/wine as needed to make it thick but not too thick.

8. Fold in the cooked pasta, taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.

9. Spoon into a glass baking dish (or two, if you only have a small one). Sprinkle with cheese.

10. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese browns. Serve onto plates and top with fresh parsley.

Makes 8 side servings or 4 full servings.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

CSAs are hard. We had to quit it. Just too much having a wealth of stuff and not having time to do anything with it. So sad.