I am a lover of Summer. Truly, I think I would be happy if I had Summer all year long...
Oh, wait. I did that. Living on the equator for a year (Palau and Ebeye) will give you that...
Ok, let me say that again. I think I would be totally happy having Summer nine months a year. That would leave one for Spring (and everything would be green), one for Winter (meaning I could get my hot chocolate fix for the year), and one for Fall (allowing us to have butternut squash and other lovely Fall veggies). However, if I were the one in charge of such things (and all of life on planet Earth did not depend on the changing of seasons) I would spread them out so there would be three months of Summer between each one.
Butternut squash... oh man. I didn't even know this stuff existed until last year. Yes, you heard me correctly. There were/are plenty of things I never really knew of. Chalk it up to living off of boxed food and TV dinners 90% of my younger years. My family single-handedly kept Kraft Foods afloat.
Thank goodness for Brazil, a masters class, and Jamie Oliver! I kid you not, that guy and his Food Revolution timed themselves perfectly with my newlywed-trying-feed-her-Brazilian-husband-who-has-never-had-box-food-in-his-life phase as well as me being enrolled in 'Advanced Health Education'. Good things come in threes, I have been told...
So now I know (and love) butternut squash. And sage. Have you ever smelled that before?! Wowsers. It's pretty amazing. Mushrooms, those I did know, no worries ;)
October Unprocessed is this month, and for the second year I am participating. I learned so much last year, and am hoping to do so again. The truth is, though, that it is not that hard this time. Why? Because I am pretty much stuck to this diet throughout the last year. But there is always room to grow...
Which lead me to reading every single ingredient on the pasta in Trader Joe's. I know, I know. There is no artificial anything in TJ's food. But I was looking for what I consider "the next level". What kind of flour did they make it with? Any added sugars? If so, what kind? And lo and behold, I found out something wonderful. The pastas are made with unbleached flour (unprocessed!) and raw cane sugar (unprocessed!), not to mention the salt is sea salt (unprocessed!). Thank you, Trader Joe's!
Not only can I enjoy my favorite Fall veggie, but I can have it with tortellini. My favorite! I guess I can enjoy the season of Autumn now. If only it was followed by Summer...
PS - If you have been following me, you have seen this recipe before. TWICE. I did it last year for October Unprocessed, repeated it again in January (with 'better' pictures), and am sharing it today because, well, the pictures are WAY better :) If you are new to my blog, you are in for a treat!
Recipe from Real Simple, October 2011
- 1 small butternut squash (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 pound button or cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and halved if large
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 pound fresh, UNPROCESSED tortellini
- 2 ounces fontina or Gruyère, grated (1/2 cup), plus more for serving (Or Parmesan. They're all good!)
- Heat oven to 450° F. On 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss the squash and mushrooms with the sage, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once and rotating pans halfway through, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the tortellini and return to the pot. Add the vegetables, fontina, ¼ cup of the cooking water, and ½ teaspoon salt and toss gently to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Sprinkle with additional cheese