In the Big Garden

In the Big Garden
The Farmer at work...

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Wonderful Late Summer Meal

It has been a long holiday weekend.  But we are not your average people and even when we have a holiday weekend there is always work to be done here on the farm. "Labor Day" is an understatement.  There is a perennial list of tasks that must be done every year to batten down the hatches for winter.  This includes repairing windows, stacking firewood, organizing machinery in the barn, etc. I won't bore you with the details, but tonight, after a long weekend of sweat and toil and with aching muscles, we retire at 4 to start our dinner.

Erin remains pregnant and with all the attendant miseries -not least of which is her persistent heartburn; her only request is a good meal that will not inflame her condition.  When we head out for a lunch break at a local farmers market I gain inspiration; the first of the Butternut squashes are out. I decide to make some magic with these first freshest of the fresh:

Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut Squash

For up to to four people, take one large butternut squash and cut in half and then in quarters. Using your knife, trim tough skin and then cut into half inch chunks.  Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.  On a baking tray, toss squash with olive oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in about 3 large tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sautee one large chopped onion.  Add the squash to the sautee pan with the onions when it is done along with a heaping tablesoon of chopped fresh Rosemary and a teaspoon of minced Sage.  Toss and then cook for about 5 minutes over low and set off the heat.

Boil water for the Pasta.  Add salt and then the spaghetti and then cook until tender to the bite.  Meanwhile, warm up butternut and onion mixture.  Add 1 large ladle full of starchy pasta water to the sauce and simmer.  Drain pasta and add to the sauce pan and cook, stirring , until creamy.  Add a generous handful of grated cheese to your sauce and toss and then mound into small bowls, topping with a smidge of additional cheese and a swirl of olive oil.  Killer!

This needs a creative seasonal salad . With Heirloom tomatoes piling  into our kitchen the choice is easy:

Simple Tomato Salad:

Slice your favorite heirloom varieties into thick slices.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a dash on onion powder.  Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar and then a good olive oil.  Thinly slice a REALLY good Mozzarella cheese and layer a few slices on top.  Maybe one more swirl of oil and then you are done!

Erin loves good bread, and if we don't make it, we buy it.  Tonight, a big hunk gets popped into the oven in foil to heat through and get crispy. With the pasta and tomatoes, it is a killer foil!


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