Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Squash+Cheese+Bacon= True Love!

I love food. I think food should be enjoyed deep into the soul. God gave us so many senses to enjoy the things of this world. Why waste them on boxed, bland, dull foods?

Part of the reason I enjoy gardening so much is I am close to my food. I plant it, nurture it, and harvest it. Then, I get to indulge in pure flavors you can't get from any supermarket.

Today I had leftover squash from my minestrone soup, leftover bacon from "The Best BLT EVER!" (I got to use lettuce and tomato from my own garden) and some delicious leftover provolone cheese from steak and spinach sammy's with pesto-mayo sauce. So I got to searching for a recipe that used them all. And guess what!? There is one from Cooking Light. YEA! I made some minor adjustments, but for the most part remained true to the original.

I topped off my meal with fresh tomato wedges with baby basil from my garden. Simple, sweet, decadent. All for only 449 calories per serving, I can handle that!

Just one final note, my hubby, whos disdain for squash cannot be put into words, LOVED this dish. And actually asked if there was more to be had!

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Bake
Serves 3

1/4 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
Cooking spray
4 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
4 ounces uncooked spiral pasta
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 oz shredded sharp provolone cheese
3/4 oz grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, Italian Seasoning, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.

Dice bacon into bite sized pieces. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it begins to caramelize. Add shallots to pan; sauté about 8 minutes or until tender.

Combine squash and bacon/shallot mixture; set aside.

Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

Combine flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.* Remove from heat. Add provolone and Parmesan, stirring until cheese melts.

Add pasta and squash mixture to cheese sauce, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray

Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

* If you are not so skilled at this step and your milk and flour mixture becomes lumpy, don't panic. Continue to slowly thicken the mixture. Once slightly thicken as the recipe calls for, simply strain your milk mixture through either cheesecloth or an old flour sifter. I prefer to use a flour sifter as it's just less messy.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds yummy!

    When you come to visit, we'll be having sweet potatoes, so prime Jon for that. :-)