I have a very serious problem. An addiction of sorts. I have an addiction to buying fresh produce. It started at the farmer's market. Back when I lived in Michigan, I lived blocks away from the best market you will ever find. And the deals. Oh lordy, the deals. I could get a giant bag of different squashes for one dollar. Or a bushel of honey crisp apples for five dollars. The best part was that all the produce was freshly picked and locally grown. I started by walking to the market or riding my bike, but I had way too much stuff. I brought wagons and even drove occasionally (but I usually forced myself to run errands afterwards so that I didn't feel bad about driving a couple blocks). This may sound great to most people, but I would have more food than I could eat. How does one woman eat a bushel of apples before it goes bad? With lots of strength. I shared and I baked, but things still went bad before I could finish them. I have gotten better and prices have gone up (which really reduces my spending), but I still buy too much.
So to fix this problem I have created meals that I call "everything that's going bad is being cooked." Tonight's meal is full of squash and mushrooms because these kids are looking like they might not make it much longer. It isn't the most streamlined meal and doesn't make the most sense. If I were to have a dinner party, this might not be what I would serve. Maybe parts of them, but not the whole deal. Delicious, healthy, local, and cheap. What more would you want out of a meal.
Squash and Pasta Bake (Thank you Martha Stewret's iPhone app for the inspiration)
1 medium winter squash, I used acorn, roasted
2 medium onions, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
1 pound pasta (shells were in the original recipe, I used cavatappi)
1 pound Italian sausage
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tbls fresh rosemary, minced
1 cup paramesen cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper
1) Saute onion in pan over low heat in oil, salt, and pepper, covered for about 15 minutes. Stir in shallot and turn heat up to medium and saute uncovered for 10 more minutes.
2) Meanwhile, cook pasta stopping two minutes before time on package. Reserve one cup of cooking water.
3) Add Italian sausage to onion and shallot mixture and turn heat up to high. When sausage is cooked through, add in white wine and rosemary. Continue stirring until wine is reduced. Then add in squash, 1/2 cup cheese, and cooking water. Once combined stir in pasta and salt and pepper to taste.
4) Pour mixture into a pan. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until browned on top.
(This is a thrown together recipe, so there are minimal accurate measurements. Please use your own discretion and tastes for this one.)
Mushrooms of any variety -- I had button, shitake, and oyster, roughly chopped
Lots of Garlic, minced
dry white wine
Salt and Pepper
1) Heat oil so it gets hot, but before smoking. Brown up garlic quickly.
2) Toss mushrooms in pan and continuously stir until softened, slightly browned, and starting to release their liquids.
3) Pour in some wine and cook until reduced. Season with salt and pepper.