Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lunch Week 9: Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta
Switching it up with some pasta this week.  I didn't want to make anything really heavy so lasagna was out of the question. So I made a pasta salad instead with roasted butternut squash, mozzarella cheese, spring mix, and dried cherries.

I prepped the butternut squash first. I peeled and diced it. Then I tossed it with chopped sage, salt, pepper, and oil. Butternut squash and sage go together really well. Add some browned butter and you have a great combo. Anyway, into the oven at 375oF for about 45 minutes until all the liquid is evaporated and the pieces are lightly roasted/caramelized.
While the butternut squash gets all delicious in the oven, I boiled some spiral pasta until just cooked through but still retained a bite. Then I strained it and tossed it with some pesto sauce. I also added the spring mix so that it would wilt under the residual heat.
I also sauteed some onions for more flavor and texture. I didn't caramelize them because I thought it would make the dish too sweet. But I did cook them enough to obtain some color.
So to the pasta and spring mix, I added the cooked onions, diced fresh mozzarella cheese, reconstituted dried cherries, and roasted butternut squash. I mixed it well and let it cool off.
Wow this turned out better than I thought it would. Well, I knew it was going to be good but this was much better. The butternut squash was really good. Naturally sweet and intensified through the roasting process. The pasta with the pesto was savory and funky while the salad gave it the freshness that it needed. The cheese added richness and fat while the cherries were tart and brightened the dish up. I like to eat this at room temperature or slightly cool. I would definitely make this again.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't have thought to combine these particular ingredients but it does sound quite lovely!

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