Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fall food

The Fall food aesthetic includes the color and aroma of pumpkins, squash, nuts, spices, and apples. This year, I discovered that cooking with these food items is not limited to sweets. Here are two entrees we've recently enjoyed.

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage
(from Classic Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals)
Salt & pepper
1 pond penne rigate, cooked until al dente
2 drizzles evoo
1 pound bulk sweet sausage
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4-6 leaves fresh sage, slivered
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 pinches ground cinnamon
3 pinches ground nutmeg
Romano or Parmigiano cheese, for grating over pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a deep pot over medium heat, pour in 1 drizzle of oil and brown sausage in it. Remove to paper towel-lined plate to drain and return pan to heat. Add second drizzle of oil to pan and saute onion and garlic 5 minutes, till soft and sweet. Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to pot. Reduce wine for 2 minutes. Add broth and pumpkin and combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper and simmer 5 minutes.

To serve, return drained, cooked pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour sauce over pasta. Toss pasta and sauce 1-2 minutes over low heat so pasta can absorb flavors. Top bowls of pasta with freshly grated cheese, and serve with a green salad on the side. Generously serves 4.

Butternut Squash Soup
(from my friend Yolanda--a Brooklyn-native, vegetarian, hip-hop lovin, seminary student)

2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb butter
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic minced
2-3 Tb curry
8 cups diced butternut squash
2 quarts veggie or chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste
1-2 cups cream (optional)
(If you like your soup a little sweet, add a chopped apple)

Saute oil and butter over medium heat. When butter melts, add onion & garlic. Stir and let saute for about 8 minutes. Increase heat and stir in curry, and saute for a few minutes. Add butternut squash, and stir & saute for a few more minutes. Add stock, bay lead and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to keep at slow simmer. Cook uncovered until squash is soft about 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf, season with salt & pepper add additional teaspoon of curry (to taste). Soup can be served as is or you can can use a potato masher to mash it to your desired consistency. Add cream if desired. Serves 4. (I served this flavorful soup with sliced cucumbers and whole wheat dinner rolls.)

2 comments:

Ornery's Wife said...

yum. I'll have to try the soup. I have a butternut squash on the counter right now that needs to be used, maybe I'll experiment with it!
TM

Heather said...

ohhhh, those look good. Did the Mr. tell you that we served cucumbers in the salad while he was here. We were all snickering as he graciously served it up. Looks like you are still on your cucumber kick!!! :)