"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Friday, January 1, 2010

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Creamy Mushroom Medley Pasta

Happy New Year!! Hope everyone had a wonderful happy and healthy holiday! After a little blogging hiatus to spend time with family and friends, I'm excited to be back in my small kitchen cooking and writing. The Taste Tester and I went for a little NYC holiday outing and on our way back home, as we fought the snow and crowds, we walked into Whole Foods to get a vegetable to stuff. Seriously, I wanted to eat a stuffed vegetable and Whole Foods is the perfect place for cooking inspiration. The freshness and colorfulness of the produce is almost overwhelming. With squashes still very much in season, our selection of a lovely pale orange butternut squash seemed appropriate. I also have a growing obsession with mushrooms, it sort of happened when I realized how unfamiliar with the mushroom family I am. I love all the different types of mushrooms and how when cooked they produce meaty and distinct flavors. One of my many New Year's resolutions is to make more dishes that appreciate mushrooms so watch out for mushroom quesadillas and savory mushroom bread pudding! Mushrooms are also delicate creatures in that their flavors can easily be overpowered if combined with too strong of other ingredients. I have often tried to incorporate shitake mushrooms into pad thai only to be disapointed that the peppers alone make the shitake have no taste. I decided that if I was going to buy a medley of exciting mushrooms, I was going to create a simple pasta dish where mushrooms would be the star of the show. I used conchiglie pasta which is shell pasta; it literally translates to 'conch shells.' The shells are good for catching liquidy sauces so it is often cooked with creamy sauces. We ate this with Cod and salad and whole wheat crusty bread and some white wine. This meal is the perfect start to a New Year. You could also swap pasta for quinoa or even couscous or rice. Bon appetite!

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Creamy Mushroom Medley Pasta
(Makes 4 servings of mushroom pasta)

1 butternut squash
Whole wheat shell shaped pasta
1 cup mixed mushrooms (Nameko, Alba Clamshell, Trumpet Royale), chopped and bottom of stems removed
1/3 onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, diced
White wine, dry table wine
Soy milk
Parmesan, grated

1. Preheat the oven 425 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half and carefully cut out the center leaving a 1-2 inch border around the squash. Place mushrooms cut side down on a pan and roast for 35 minutes.  Remove and flip so cut side is facing up. Lower the oven to 375 degrees. 
2. While squash is baking, cook the pasta until it is just a little al dente. Remove, drain and run under cold water.
3. In a skillet over medium high heat melt the butter and add the garlic and onions, saute for a couple minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for a couple of minutes, then add the pasta, soy milk, nutmeg and wine. Saute just until everything is evenly incorporated.                   
4. Fill the squash with the mushroom pasta mixture and sprinkle grated parmesan on top. Bake for about 30 minutes until the pasta shells on top are golden brown and the parmesan is completely melted. Remove from oven, sprinkle some more parmesan and enjoy!


figtree said...

Squash filled with mushroom pasta? Oh my..so good!

ekbenson said...

What a beautiful presentation!

Anonymous said...

Recipe is interesting but not very clear!