Monday, January 11, 2010

Pantry Challenge Day 7 - Creamy Penne Rigate with Spinach, Baked Dumpling Squash

Well, I never made that second post for the weekend. Too many wheelbarrow loads of "stuff" from the horse stalls and too many NFL games (GO ARIZONA!). We had leftovers and take-home from the Whole Foods salad bar for the rest of the weekend.

My grocery budget for this second week of the Pantry Challenge was $50 but I blew that pretty badly. It wasn't that I bought a ton of stuff to cook. It was more that I was out of things like dish detergent and soy milk and salt and personal items - very basic things that you just gotta have. Everything I will make this week is still stuff that was already hanging around.

Tonight I am finally getting around to baking the two sweet dumpling squash that have been sitting on my countertop for well, forever, it seems like. These squash are so pretty that I'll miss having them sitting around to look at! These beauties take a bit of time to bake but the wait is worth it. You can use the same recipe for acorn, delicata, or butternut squash. I so meant to take a photo of the squash before I cut into it, but I so totally forgot.......

To go along with them, I made Creamy Penne Rigate with Spinach.

Creamy Penne Rigate and Spinach

I lb package whole wheat penne rigate
16 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 – 2 ½ cups water
2 no-chicken bullion cubes
1 cup non-dairy milk (make sure it is unsweetened)
3 tbs Earth Balance
3 tbs flour
3 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp crushed rosemary
½ tsp garlic granules
½ tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, melt Earth Balance over medium heat. Add flour and stir to mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until flour begins to brown lightly. Add yeast, poultry seasoning, rosemary, garlic, nutmeg, and onion granules.

Pour in 2 cups of water and bullion cubes. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken. Add milk and continue to stir. Taste for seasoning.

Add spinach. Stir to combine well. Heat until bubbling.

Add pasta and stir to combine. Let sit while finishing off squash.

Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash

2 sweet dumpling squash (can use delicate or acorn squash as well)
juice and zest of 1 orange
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs Earth Balance, melted
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the squash into halves and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Using a fork, pierce the skin of the squash in several places. Place squash halves in a baking pan, skin-side down.

Mix cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, and Earth Balance together in a small bowl. Add pine nuts. Divide the mixture among the squash halves.

Add 1” of water to the bottom of the pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until squash is tender.

Alternately, you may allow the squash halves to cool partially, remove the skins, and mash or puree the squash.

This one got mixed reviews. Usually if Paul and I disgree on a dish, it's him loving it and me not so crazy about it. Tonight, Paul didn't like the squash; he thought the orange zest made it bitter. I, however, really liked how the squash turned out. We agreed on the the pasta and spinach, though - loved it!

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