I'm in the process of changing my name. It's not a particularly fun process -- there's a lot of standing in line and waiting involved, and I carry around my marriage certificate wherever I go, just in case. I've got my new driver's license and new credit cards, so that I'm signing checks and receipts with one name while still receiving bills in another. My personal e-mail still includes my maiden name, while my work e-mail has my new name. I'm getting used to answering to this, but I sometimes slip and still call myself that.
The name change isn't the only thing I'm getting used to around here. There is also the change in seasons and transition from fall to winter, Halloween to The Holidays -- a transition that makes me impatient for the bustle of Thanksgiving and Christmas but dreading the cold months ahead. The sky is nearly pitch black when I leave the office, which has been the hardest part so far, since the cold weather has been slow to catch up. It's actually getting warmer, reaching the 70s this week so that I drove with the window down on my lunch break yesterday and left my jacket in the car this morning.
And there's this butternut squash pasta, an in-between dish of sorts, which seems so right for these days when it's dark by 4:30 but still nice enough to keep the windows open. It features butternut squash, which I've been eating on a weekly basis lately, and even Murdo asked me the other day if I'm getting sick of squash yet. The answer is no, I'm not, and I certainly hope I don't get sick of it soon because it's a winter squash, after all, and not even winter yet.
The squash is tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and brown sugar, and roasted with a bunch of halved shallots, then thrown over wide ribbon noodles. There is a sprinkling of sage that brings in a hint of the holidays, and yet the dish is so light you'd think it was simple meal prepared for summer or spring.
But summer is long gone, and I hate to say it, but I kind of wish winter would just get here already. I know it's just around the corner and I'd rather get it over with, instead of remain stuck in this transitional period, wearing boots with no jacket, signing one name and answering to another. Until then, of course, I'm sure there will be lots more squash. Which I'm used to by now.
Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallots (from Cooking Light)
I followed this recipe pretty closely, except ended up using 4 cups of squash instead of 3, and forgot about the cheese altogether. It was still tasty.
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise (about 1/2 pound)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
4 ounces uncooked pappardelle (wide ribbon pasta) or fettuccine
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 475 F.
Combine the squash, sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons oil, salt, pepper, and shallots in a jelly roll pan and toss well. Bake at 475 for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sage.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place cooked pasta in a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons oil and toss well. Serve the squash mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.
Serving size: 3/4 cup pasta, 3/4 cup squash mixture, 1 tablespoon cheese
Calories per serving: 248