Friday, January 11, 2008

Pappardelle with Squash, Mushrooms, and Spinach

You know that feeling you get, when you know you've blown something off long enough that you feel so guilty that you keep blowing it off because maybe then you won't have to fess up to it? I'll admit that its that feeling that mightily contributed to my failing out of college (as I'd skip class a few too many times but feel to sheepish to return). You'd think I'd have a handle on that feeling by now, being an official grown-up and all... but no. Here it has happened again. :)

I also didn't make any resolutions last week, which is new for me. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I only started really cooking because of a New Years resolution. You see, it was what... 2000?... when I met my husband... I knew how to cook a few things... like Chicken Kate or Chicken Mom or Salisbury Steak from a Box and the like. (I rocked that food from a box, lemme tell ya!) Anyway. I met Dave the summer of 2000. By that winter, I was smitten with him (long before, actually). I really really wanted to cook for him. I made him the two Chickens... I even made him a purple banana cream pie (I can save that for another day). But then I'd exhausted my non-box foods. What is a girl to do?

What I did is make a resolution: I would buy a new cookbook every month and learn to make at least one thing from said book. I was pretty ramped up at the beginning and got a whole bunch of books at once... but still. I stuck with it. I learned to cook. I asked my friends and coworkers for recipes. I fed my husband. And you know what? I found great joy in filling his belly... in putting a smile on his face... and that propelled me forward.

Sure, its a sappy story. What it has to do with the pasta we had for dinner last week, I have no idea. But what I wanted was a nice, healthy, delicious dinner to help push me forward again. To snap me out of my blogging sheepishness and get back to sharing our meals with you. Because you know what? A lot of what we eat COMES from you - hence the blog name - and I like the fact that in sharing what I make, I celebrate what the food blogosphere has to offer! Because, seriously, you have MAD SKILLS!!! :)

Now, a little bit about this recipe from Bon Appetit magazine: Aside from all the butter, I could happily eat this on a regular basis. I felt like a nutritional rockstar the night we had this. So many veggies! And because each veg was a different kind and color, I got the feeling that we might not need our multi-vitamin that night. I'd made the pappardelle myself a few days prior and I was really pleased with the results.

Pappardelle with Squash, Mushrooms, and Spinach
c/o Bon Appetit Magazine, November 2007

12 ounces pappardelle or fettuccine pasta

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes butternut squash (from 1-pound squash)
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 5- to 6-ounce package baby spinach
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash and cook until almost tender, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add mushrooms, sage, and remaining 1/4 cup butter; sauté until mushrooms are soft and squash is tender, about 8 minutes. Add spinach; stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add pasta to sauce in skillet. Toss to coat, adding pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.


Ruth Daniels said...

Terrific post, great photo - perfect drool factor! Next pasta you really should share with Presto Pasta Nights!

Deborah said...

I think men push a lot of us into cooking - I always have liked to cook, but never really did much until I met my husband. Maybe it's because he enjoys food so much and I love to see his smile when he eats something good, or maybe because it's easier to cook for 2 instead of 1!!

Anyway, I'm glad you're back to blogging and sharing such wonderful recipes as this one!

Katie B. said...

Thanks Ruth! I keep forgetting to share my pastas with you, but I will try to be better!! I do so enjoy your round-ups!

You've hit it directly on the head, Deborah! This week that my husband has been away for business, I have certainly had the itch to cook, but having no one to share the meal with, I've had soup from a can or cereal for dinner most nights. I COULD cook myself dinner, but I rather he be here to taste it and give me feedback (although, the best feedback he ever gives me is silence - because he's too focused on eating to talk!!)

Arundathi said...

That sounds delicious!!