No Slivers Here

November 21, 2008

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pancetta, and Sage

Filed under: Main Dish, Pasta, Pork, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:44 am

Yummy! I think I may have a new favorite way to serve butternut squash. I usually just boil or steam the squash and mash it up with some butter and brown sugar. I honestly wasn’t sure what this would taste like but I really liked it!

I saw this recipe on the Martha Stewart Show last week and decided it would be worth a try. This recipe was full of flavor and not blah at all as was my fear. I loved the mixture of squash with red pepper flakes and also the Parmesan cheese. I must confess that this was also my first time buying and using fresh sage. I was impressed with that also! I made one change to the recipe. I didn’t use the pancetta but instead chopped up 3 slices of bacon therefore I omitted the olive oil that the pancetta was to be cooked in. It worked out well, even with the onion/shallots and other ingredients that go into the pan with the bacon.

I strongly suggest you try this recipe if you’re looking for new way to prepare butternut squash. You won’t be sorry you did. Enjoy!


Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pancetta, and Sage

source: The Martha Stewart Show


Serves 4

  • 1 medium (about 2 1/4 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 pound penne pasta
  • 3 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick and finely chopped (I used 3 slices of bacon)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt. Transfer to oven and roast until squash is browned and tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set pasta and reserved cooking liquid aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add pancetta and cook until just crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shallots, crushed red pepper, and sage. Cook until shallots are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add penne and squash and toss gently, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as necessary to moisten.
  4. Add cheese and black pepper and cook, tossing gently, until pasta and squash are heated through. Serve immediately with more grated cheese, if desired.

October 23, 2008

Acorn Squash

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:49 am

Ahh squash! I was absolutely stuffed when I neared the end of my meal but I’m silly and made myself power through and finish the last of my squash! I love squash. I told my husband that I wasn’t going to finish the pork chop on my plate because I can have that anytime of year but squash only comes around for a few months! I grew up having squash prepared this way. My mom and grandma would make it in the microwave instead of the oven. I’ve attempted to make it in the microwave several times but it never turns out quite right, probably because I haven’t cooked it long enough.

I modeled tonights recipe after what my mom makes and this recipe. My changes are below in red. Enjoy!!

Classic Baked Acorn Squash Recipe

source: My mom and this recipe

1 Acorn squash
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar ( I filled each squash half with brown sugar)
2 teaspoons Maple Syrup (I omitted)
2 slices bacon
Dash of Salt


1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

2 Using a strong chef’s knife, and perhaps a rubber mallet to help, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up.

3 Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. I place a slice of bacon on top of the tablespoon of butter then I fill each half with brown sugar.

4 Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.

Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much squash you like to eat.

October 1, 2008

Roasted Winter Squash

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 9:34 am

Let me just start out by saying that I LOVE squash! I get so excited when I see the big bins of it in the grocery store! I have loved squash since I was a baby! I’m about to embarrass my mom with my impending story! She fed me a lot of squash when I was a baby! She fed me so much that I turned orange! Yes, new moms, it is possible! My mom said that she didn’t notice until she took me to the doctor for a check up. The doctor asked if I liked squash and my mom said yes. She asked how he knew and he said that I was a little orange! My mom was so embarrassed and then asked what she should do. He said not to worry but to feed me some green veggies and that should do the trick! I still love squash to this day!

This will probably not be the last squash recipe you see on this blog. My mom usually prepares Acorn Squash a different way and I was looking for a different way for last night. Again, Cooking Light did not fail me! Don’t worry, you will get to see the way my mom bakes squash. I really don’t think that squash can go on sale fast enough!

This recipe was good but I still like my squash a bit sweeter with some brown sugar. I am looking forward to finding new recipes for roasting squash. Enjoy!

Roasted Winter Squash

source: Cooking Light


  • 3 pounds butternut squash, acorn squash, or spaghetti squash (I used 1 acorn squash)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Remove stem from squash. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Cut each half into 4 wedges, and place on an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. (If using spaghetti squash, cut each half into 2 wedges.)

Stir together butter and honey until blended. Brush squash evenly with butter mixture; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Bake at 450° for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender, turning once. Cut skins from squash wedges, and discard.

Italian Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash

Filed under: Main Dish, Turkey, Vegetables — Tags: , , — bettylou79 @ 9:11 am

While browsing my Google Reader a few weeks back I came across a recipe featuring Italian meatballs. I knew that I had another use for that ground turkey taking over my freezer! Only one more package to go, thank goodness! I spotted the recipe here and saw that it was from Joy of Cooking and I instantly remembered that my fabulous sister-in-law gave me that cookbook for Christmas!

These meatballs were wonderful! The might even rival this Martha Stewart recipe! Who knows, I might even become a meatball connoisseur!! I wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous so I just used a jarred sauce to go with the meatballs.

I served the meatballs with Spaghetti Squash which is becoming another one of my favorite fall and winter squashes. I love how easy it is and it is just plays with your brain and your mouth. It looks like spaghetti and yet it tastes a bit nutty but still has a consistency similar to actual spaghetti. I strongly suggest you give it a try! My only suggestion is to not cook it too long. I did that once and it came out mushy! Actually it was done, but I left in the oven after I turned it off so it would stay warm. Darn those late dinner guests!! Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash

source: Martha Stewart

To prepare the spaghetti squash, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Drizzle cut sides of squashes with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place cut sides up on a baking sheet. Bake until soft to the touch, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. I’ve baked mine cut side down and they turned out fine.

Italian Meatballs

source: Joy of Cooking (found on


  • 1 lb ground beef (I used ground turkey)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumb
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Mix all ingredients up to the dried oregano with your hands.
  2. Scoop out mixture in heaping tablespoons and form into 2-inch balls.
  3. Dredge the meatballs in the flour.
  4. Heat in a large skillet over medium heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Brown the meatballs in batches.
  6. Place in baking pan and cook in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Or, if desired finish cooking in the sauce of your choice.
  8. Enjoy!

Blog at