For years, I've been hearing about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where participants attempt to write a 50 000 word novel during the month of November. Given that I suck at fiction (and also at lying...as hubs will attest, I am the world's WORST liar), I've never even given participation a second thought. Any novel I would write would be awful. The very idea reminds of the times where I took writing classes in high school. I love writing, but I'm just not all that creative when it comes to plot and character and all the schtuff. I could do description like nobody's business, but just didn't have the creativity to come up with plotlines, etc., that would captivate.
However, the latest thing, if you will, is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), which is much more up my alley. As the archives of this blog will attest, I am, at best, an infrequent poster. It isn't to say that I don't want to post, or that I don't have anything to say, but I just seem to have a hard time getting stuff from table to web site, if you catch my drift. So I'm going to give this a try. I certainly won't promise that you'll have photos and lovely descriptions every day, because I don't really cook THAT often. But I'll keep you abreast on what I'm eating, where it came from, and whether or not I liked it. Tonight, I made a pot roast for dinner. It sucked. I'm not posting it.
But my dinner earlier this week was FANTASTIC. Like, you know my aversion to leftovers?
I ate this for lunch THREE days in a row (I stole it from hubs!). It was that good. It's so hearty and delicious and wonderful and yummy that you will all be rushing out to make it. I stole the recipe from Cooking Light, but modified it to make it better. It's awesome. Z loved it, hubs loved it and everyone who saw the pic on facebook demanded the recipe. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM...yummy. I doubled the recipe and baked in a 13x9
Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta
Yield: 5 servings
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (for a doubled recipe, I used 2 small squash and it worked just about perfectly)
6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
8 ounces uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese (I used 5-year-aged cheddar)
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425°.
1. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, 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°. This will make your house smell AMAZING.
2. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Don't throw out your bacon fat yet!!!
3. Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.
4. Add another 2 T of bacon fat to your shallots (yum!). Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt and add to the shallots over medium-high heat. Let it cook for a couple of minutes. 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 (cheddar is better!!!), stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Add bacon and squash and stir gently (or you will mash the squash) Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
It's so good. YUM. The squash is so rich and with the savoury addition of the rosemary and the smokey bacony goodness...this is the PERFECT fall comfort food. You definitely want to make this ASAFP.
So, here's to day one of NaBloPoMo. Hope we have another fruitful 29 days.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
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