Tag Archives: squash

Sam’s Summer Pasta Sauce

One of the first meals that Sam had made for me was this sauce, and I loved it!  He’s been perfecting this baby for years, so it is delicious.  I couldn’t wait until the tomatoes were in season, since this pasta is significantly better with deep red fresh tomatoes.

It’s finally tomato season!  Hopefully, my pasta sauce recipe will help you figure out how to use them.

It looks like a lot, but really, this one is pretty easy.  I developed this recipe over a couple years of trial and error.  Originally, I prepared the sauce as noted below, but then simmered it for about an hour over the stovetop.  I’ve found that omitting this last step and serving it with the tomatoes and herbs in their raw state gives the sauce a really nice, fresh-from-the-garden flavor.  I hope you like it.

Sam’s Summer Pasta Sauce

1 box, dry pasta (I recommend penne or rigatoni)
3 large, ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 zucchini, slice length-wise & chopped into chunks
2 squash, slice length-wise & chopped into chunks
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced thickly
5 garlic cloves, minced
handful of fresh basil
6 sprigs of fresh oregano
¾ can, drained, pitted, black olives
Dry red wine (a nice Chianti works well)
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter together with the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Then add the squash, zucchini, and onion together with the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Now is a good time to start boiling your pasta.  I recommend cooking in liberally salted boiling water until al dente.  When done, drain and rinse in cold water to ensure it doesn’t continue to cook.

When the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms and garlic.  Continue to sauté until the mushrooms soften but still have a bit of a bite.  Remove from heat.

In a large food processor, add quarter of the sauté mixture together with the tomatoes, oregano, basil, olives, and a splash of wine and olive oil.  Pureé and add more salt, pepper, and olive oil as necessary.

Serve the sauce with the remainder of the squash mixture over the cooked pasta and top with a little fresh, grated parmesan (not that powdered stuff!).  Oh, and don’t forget to drink the remainder of that wine!

Buon appetito!

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Butternut Squash Thai Curry

This is a great fall flavor, and fantastic for colder evenings.  Although we had used butternut squash, others can be used.  The heat of the dish can also be varied, depending on how many jalapenos are added.  The coconut milk gives it a creamy warming texture.

Butternut Squash Thai Curry
Adapted from: Love and Olive Oil Blog

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium butternut squash; peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2 in pieces
1 cup veggie broth
1 cup water
1 jalapeno, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (12 oz) can of coconut milk (light or regular)
juice of 1 lime
12 oz Asian noodles (or Udon noodles)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
salt to taste

Heat oil on a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions garlic and jalapeno, saute for 5 minutes; until onion is translucent.  Add squash, and saute for another 5 minutes.  Add broth, bring to boil.  Cover and cook until squash is tender.  Stir in coconut milk, water, lime juice, curry powder, cinnamon and salt.  Simmer uncovered until squash is tender and liquid has reduced (5  minutes).

Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot, until tender.  Drain noodles, rinse with cold water, and return to pot.  Then add squash mixture to noodles.  Toss to blend, divide into bowls and sprinkle with cilantro.

Squash Lentil Salad

This is a great salad for a quick and easy dinner.  Since it’s more savory when the squash is warm, and the greens don’t get soggy- this one is a make right before you eat.  It’s a good mix of a light salad, but filling with the squash and lentils.  Since there are plenty of squash to choose from, it should not be limited to butternut squash, feel free to try others. 

Squash-Lentil Salad
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen Blog

3/4 cup lentils
2 medium size butternut squash; peeled, seeded, cubed (1 inch)
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups spinach (or arugula)
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, thinly shredded

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Toss the squash with 4 tbsp of oil, cumin, paprika, salt and red pepper flakes.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes; flip squash and roast for another 15 minutes.  When squash is tender, take it out of the oven and let it cool.

While the squash roasts, cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender (20-30 minutes).  After they are cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. 

Combine the lentils, squash, goat cheese and greens in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl mix mint, vinegar and 2 tbsp oil.  Add the dressing to the salad, season with extra salt if desired. Divide between 3-4 bowls, and lightly sprinkle each of them with Parmesan.