Friday, January 31, 2014

What's for dinner and Vivian strikes again.

Determined not to let January 2014 come and go without one post from me!


In the most recent issue of Bon Appetit I saw a picture and recipe for Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage that looked really good. I decided to try it last Friday night as it was classified as a "quick and easy weeknight meal." The dish was quite tasty, but at my house it was definitely not quick, mostly because of the prep time involved (where is that sous chef when I need him?). Next time I would buy pre-cut butternut squash (Central Market sometimes has this in their produce section) or chop the squash in advance. Perhaps next time I might be more adept at peeling and chopping butternut squash, too, and hasten things along that way.

Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, chopped (I used the thick-sliced applewood bacon from the Central Market butcher because I think it is fabulous)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½" pieces (about 3 cups)
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces linguine
¼ cup finely grated Pecorino cheese, plus shaved for serving

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8–10 minutes. Add sage and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta and sage to a small bowl; set aside.

Add squash, onion, and garlic to skillet; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 8–10 minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is soft and liquid is reduced by half, 15–20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth (I used my immersion blender but had to transfer the squash to a deeper pot to do so); season with salt and pepper. Reserve skillet.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Combine pasta, squash purée, and ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid in reserved skillet and cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Mix in ¼ cup Pecorino; season with salt and pepper.

Serve pasta topped with reserved pancetta and sage, shaved Pecorino, and more pepper.

Note: Squash purée can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

This salad is from Cooking Light. It is quite tasty. This time I used a mix of baby arugula and baby spinach.

Arugula and Celery Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

6 cups baby arugula leaves
1/2 cup diagonally cut celery
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (I omitted these because I'm not a huge parsley fan and there is already some in the dressing)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves
1 canned anchovy fillet, rinsed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine first 7 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. With blender on, slowly add oil. Process until blended.



The other day Vivian walked up to me and I noticed that the screen on her iPod Touch was completely shattered. I exclaimed, "Vivian! What happened to your phone?!" She replied, in that way that only Vivian can, "It broke."

Image 2


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That is cute!

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The Carbonara dish looks yummy! Trader Joe's also has pre-peeled and cut butternut squash.

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