Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Joy of Squash

I'm finally jumping on the bandwagon, inspired by previous posts, and ready to strut my stuff in the kitchen alongside the rest of the Cooking Kama Sutras.

After making the most of all of my Thanksgiving leftovers, I made a quick run to Costco this past weekend to pick up a couple of things. Much to my delight I discovered a new item in stock: Fresh Butternut Squash Ravioli. The package describes it as "Ravioli stuffed with a rich blend of Butternut Squash, Sage and Fesh Cheeses." I definitely wanted to give this a try! Our Costco also carries a fresh Spinach and Cheese Ravioli that is delicious, and I was hoping this flavor would turn out to be an equal hit. Indeed it was!

My dilemna, however, was this: What kind of sauce should I pair it with? Truth be told, I am not much of a tomato sauce enthusiast. So, this did not sound like a match that would help accentuate the flavor of the squash. A cream sauce of some sort would probably have been good--the package itself provides a recipe for mushroom alfredo; however, I didn't have the ingredients for such an option. Instead, I scavenged around and came up with a homemade sauce of sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil and spinach, cooked in olive oil. It turned out to be quite tasty, as these are all some of my favorite ingredients!

Here is a picture of the sauce in its final stages of cooking:

The entire meal was relatively quick and easy to make. The pasta itself cooks in 4-5 minutes, and the sauce took about 10 minutes. All of the ingredients I used in the sauce were in "ready to use" form, so this minimized any preparation time. I used Julienne Sundried Tomatoes (the kind that come in an oil-packed jar), and fresh cubes of Crushed Garlic Cloves and Fresh Chopped Basil (available from Trader Joes in the frozen section--see photos at the bottom of this post), and fresh chopped spinach that I had stored in a ziplock bag in the freezer--and I simply mixed them all together in an Olive Oil base.

The butternut squash was deliciously sweet smooth, and I loved the particular combination of pairing it with the taste and texture of the sundried tomatoes. The leftovers today were equally tasty! Here is the finished product:

Sundried Tomato and Garlic Sauce with Spinach and Basil

(Measurements are approximate.)

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a skillet on Medium heat

Add the following ingredients:

  • 2 cloves of garlic (I used 2 frozen cubes of crushed garlic from Trader Joes)
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped basil (I used 2 cubes of frozen chopped basil from Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 cup of julienne sundried tomatoes (oil packed)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped spinach

Keep the heat turned down to a simmer in order to avoid oil splatter. Warm on stove until pasta is ready.

Basil and Garlic cubes (each packaged separately; cilantro is also available):

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Yay! Welcome to the blog. That looks really good! Especially with the pictures you took. Way to make the most of your pantry contents.

I will have to try this sometime. Also, I'm really glad you posted this recipe because I never would have thought of your idea to store fresh spinach in a ziplock bag in the freezer. I am always having to throw away leftover spinach because I can't use it up as fast as it spoils. Thanks for the tip!bltn