Squash ‘Carbonara’ with Pancetta and Sage

squash carbonara

I absolutely love this recipe from bonappetit. What a healthy, delicious and clever twist on a classic pasta dish! This ‘carbonara’ recipe is much lower in calories and fat than the traditional recipe because it does not have any heavy cream, eggs or butter. But don’t fret – it does not lack in flavor either! The sauce has a natural creaminess from using pureed butternut squash – so clever, right?! Obviously, nothing can ever replace the taste of heavy cream and butter, but this squash substitute will certainly satisfy your taste buds. I made this dish for Michael, a carbonara connoisseur ;-), and he loved it. The crispy pancetta and light sprinkle of Parmesan go a longgggg way! Continue reading

Roasted Butternut Squash

roasted butternut squash
Despite the fact that it’s a well known ‘power food,’ I used to always avoid cooking with butternut squash. It’s not that I didn’t love the nutty, creamy or slightly sweet taste, I just didn’t want to deal with carrying the heavy squash home, or wrestling with it on my cutting board. Nowadays, however, cooking with butternut squash has become extremely easy with the convenient pre-cut packages! With my simple recipe, just unwrap and toss onto a baking sheet with three other ingredients. It’s really THAT simple. Continue reading

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

I discovered this recipe during my quest to find a baked pasta dish that wasn’t lasagna or baked ziti. No offense to either of those dishes (I love them both), but I wanted to make a pasta dish that didn’t include any meat or tons of ricotta cheese. I was watching the Food Network Channel one day and saw an episode of Everyday Italian with Giada. She made it look super easy to prepare and so yummy! So I decided to give it a try.

Michael was a little skeptical the first time I made this dish because there wasn’t any meat in it; however, he was pleasantly surprised after taking a few bites. There are just so many different flavors in the dish, ranging from the herbs de Provence in the roasted vegetables to the melted smoked mozzarella, that your taste buds are surprisingly satisfied. After playing around with the recipe a few times, I made a few tweaks to make it even more perfect for my own taste buds :). I portioned the recipe to make about four “normal” servings; however, Michael and I nearly finished the dish after one sitting ;). The leftovers taste even better the next day, but you can definitely separate the pasta into two portions before baking. Simply put one portion in a baking dish for today and freeze the other portion in an airtight container to bake another day. Continue reading

Grilled Summer Vegetables

One of my favorite side dishes to serve in the summer is grilled peppers and zucchini. They are so fresh and sweet during the summer months, and I love how they get that nice smoky charred taste from the grill. I make these veggies almost every week in the summer and we can’t seem to get enough of them! The best part about this dish is that it’s SO easy to make. You could use any type of summer squash you like – zucchini, yellow straightneck squash, or yellow crookneck squash. And the different kinds of peppers available in the summer are endless! I prefer to use red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, and poblano peppers. Poblano peppers have a deep, yet still mild, flavor and are best in the summer.

So make sure to add these grilled vegetables to your next summer barbecue! No outdoor space or grill? No worries! You could also cook them over a stove top grill pan 😉 Continue reading