Howdy, friends. Hope you all had a nice weekend! I took full advantage my 3-day weekend; it was so nice to have a little “break” from everything related to school. Friday night my sister and I drove to the shore together and drank some vino (sorry mom and dad, hope I didnt steal a good bottle of wine…woops!), made dinner and watched Crazy, Stupid, Love (great movie, by the way…you should check it out!). It was a nice and relaxing night!
We made yet another great recipe from How Sweet Eats- Roasted Pumpkin Baked Penne! Well- she actually used butternut squash. But we had a cooking pumpkin on hand so we decided to sub it in for the squash. I decided on Friday that I like pumpkin better than butternut squash. What do you like better? anyway…the meal came out GREAT…WE LOVED IT. and absolutely devoured the entire thing. The photos below are from How Sweet Eats… not trying to steal her thunder!
serves about 2-3
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and chopped (we used cooking pumpkin..but either is fine!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, chopped
1 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup milk
1/2 pound whole wheat penne
1/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
crumbed bacon, if desired
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and chop squash, then lay on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast for 20 minutes, flip once, then roast for 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and add squash to a bowl, then mash with a potato masher or fork.
Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.
While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add butter and shallots. Whisk continuously until the butter browns and small brown bits appear in the pan. Immediately whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add milk, mascarpone and mashed squash, then mix until until combined. I chose to keep my “sauce” in a thicker state (see the second picture), but if you’d like it thinned out a bit more, add additional milk. At this point, taste and see if you’d like any additional salt or spices – this will most likely depend on how seasoned your squash was. I added another small pinch of salt.
Add pasta to an 8 or 9-inch baking dish. Pour sauce over top, then use a spoon to fold the sauce into the penne, coating it completely. Top with shredded cheeses and fresh sage leaves. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Garnish with crumbled bacon if desired.
Note: this is a very “thick” pasta, and it is not swimming in sauce. If you would prefer it to be “saucy,” I’d advise adding more milk to the sauce while cooking. It is great reheated, and adding 1-2 tablespoons of milk when reheating helps it come together nicely.
Another quote just because I feel like it…
On Saturday morning, Mary and I ran 10 miles along the beach. It was beautiful out (yet VERY windy). While I was running along I stopped running for a moment and just looked at the ocean for a bit. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. There was a sense of calm and peacefulness that made me so happy. It was one of those moments that you thought to yourself…. WOW. I AM LUCKY. Lucky to not only have the ability to run but to be be where I was, to be living the life I live, to be have such amazing people (family, friends, etc) in my life, to have the opportunities that I have, etc. I am very lucky. Sometimes it easy to lose sight of that. But every once in awhile it is nice to take a step back from the craziness of life so you can realize just how incredibly blessed you are.
On sunday I went to the Eagles game. They lost (as per usual these days) but I still had a fun time nonetheless!
Q: What did you do this weekend?