Friday, May 19, 2006

Pasta-bilities


Pasta is a wonder food.

Available in so many varieties of grains, sizes, shapes, colors - and it always 'saves the day' when you don't know what to make for dinner!

Such was the case when I made this dish. Close to dinnertime... no idea what to make... no leftovers in the fridge... but I had a hankering for pasta!

I looked around at what veg I had on hand. There sat a teeny butternut squash looking back at me. I don't typically use winter squash in pasta, but this little guy had been sitting on my counter for a couple of weeks, and it was time to give it some love!!!

I took a few notes while prepping, and am so glad I did, because this dish tasted spectacular! Along with the butternut squash, I included fresh garlic, grated zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chickpeas, fresh tomatoes and fresh tarragon. I have some fresh tarragon growing in the garden, and it paired beautifully with the squash.

I will definitely recreate this recipe for the new cookbook, though I think I'll wait until the fall when winter squash are in season again. If any of you have a recipe name that comes to mind for this one, please chime in (because I don't even know where to begin, and as you know, recipe naming is not a specialty of mine!)

Oh, and I'll update you soon on the names chosen for those other recipes!

25 comments:

Starla said...

Dreena:

This Pasta dish looks wonderful. I'm always amazed at what you and the other blogger cooks can do with whatever they have on hand! I'm a recipe follower, not an inventor, myself.

Also, I have a question about the Peanut Better Cookies. Are they a soft or crunchy cookie?

Carrie™ said...

My husband is a pasta-a-holic. He could eat it everyday and not get tired of it. When you think of all the different kinds of noodles, sauces, herbs and add-ins, it really is a wonder food. Hubby also hasn't been very much of a vegetable eater lately. Pasta dishes are a good way for me to get those veggies into his belly. For years I did not like squash. I'm starting to get a bit of a taste for it now. Not too much, but a little, so this would be a great dinner to make. Also, the tarragon sounds lovely! I think it's an herb that gets overlooked a lot, except in French cooking, but it really does deserve more attention. And as always, nothing compares to fresh.
I hope it's not long for the cookbook to be finished, printed and on the shelves. You really are a tease Dreena. You keep posting these photos and making us wait for the recipes. I KNOW in the end, it will be well worth the wait. THANKS for all of your hard work.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

I've been busy and not blogging but I had to stop by - and my love of pasta is so happy to come upon this entry! Vibrant delicious sounding/looking dish, I look forward to reading more about it in the book!

What's your pasta of choice for this one?

Vicki said...

looks like a mountain of deliciousness to me. i have a butternut that's been sitting around for weeks... i too admire you & others that can cook w/o a recipe and come up with beautiful dishes like this. i need recipes! & i can't wait for your newest book to be available.

couscouscaboose said...

This looks absolutely delicious ... yum!

Sweet Pea said...

This dish looks delightful. I would definetly make it since it looks like it contains chickpeas (yum!) and some of my other fave foods -- pasta (of course), squash and tarragon (what a wonderful herb).

Anonymous said...

Yum, looks great Dreena! Chickpeas are a great addition... lately I have been using cannellini beans in pasta dishes with pesto sauce, and really like them too. And don't fresh herbs make such a difference?

Michelle

EatPeacePlease said...

"Autumn Pastability".

EatPeacePlease said...

Or something along the lines of these beautiful colors!

Sweet Pea said...

By the way Dreena, I baked the Easy Pleasin' Oat Bars yesterday and they were delish. I raved about them on my blog. I made 12 bars and there are 4 left.

Dreena said...

Thank you Starla... hey, nothing wrong with following recipes - certainly allows you to plan for your meals too - these last minute "what to make" meals can be stressful when there's not a lot to choose from! The pb cookies are tender and a little chewy *as long as* you only bake them for the 11 minutes. If you bake much longer, they dry out and get crispy/crunchy. I like them soft, but if you want them crunchy, you can bake them longer - maybe 13 minutes.

Aw, thanks Carrie! Ditto on pasta in our house - I think hubby and my girls could eat it daily. I am taking more to spicier foods these days and craving more Indian and Mexican inspired dishes - but whose to say these flavors can't find their way into the pasta bowl??!! I love tarragon, and yet I don't use it a lot, I think because it can be overwhelming if too much is used - but I love that licorice type flavor (and I agree about using fresh - I don't think I have ever used dried tarragon). The book is scheduled for release fall 2007, so yes, I AM being a little sinister with these new recipe posts - but then again, it's what I'm cooking these days!

Hey Jess, yes I noticed you haven't posted for a couple of days so you must be a busy lady! Re the pasta - kinda cool, I tried a new pasta this time - a quinoa one! I will post about this later because I got the tip from one of the bloggers here, so I want to share the info in a post because the pasta is quite good!!

Hi Vicki, sometimes I buy winter squash very enthused to use them, and then they sit around for ages because I don't have the idea to use them any given night!! I definitely like certain squash more than others, and I have to be in the 'mood' for them as well... and, they need a little cookin' time (well, more than something like zukes or mushrooms), so they aren't an instant kind of food to prepare for sure! Thanks, you're sweet (and I bet you cook just great without recipes and improvise just beautifully)!

Thanks veggiebelly - I like that name "veggies in the belly" - a very good thing. :) :)

Hey sweetpea - thanks! It does have chickpeas... I love them too!! They are one of the most versatile beans I think. I saw the post about the oat bars - my word, thank you for that! I guess Vive is back in the workforce, at least for another little while?!! Too funny!

Hi Michelle, yes, I love chickpeas a bunch... and cannellini beans are another favorite - creamy and mellow in flavor. I couldn't agree more about fresh herbs. I think they take a meal from good to outstanding in an instant!!! (and restaurants wouldn't survive without them)!

Hey, that's a cute one, Leslie... the colors are quite vibrant, I agree.,. we 'eat with our eyes' first, as they say!

raising_kahne said...

Hey Dreena, I have a really quick question: Tonight my family is going to celebrate my cousin's birthday at Olive Garden. I really dont know about ANY of their ingredients, so I dont know if anything's vegan. They usually put tons of cheese even on the salads! Do you know if there's anything there that is vegan, or is there a way I can find out before we get there??

EatPeacePlease said...

Raising Kahne, if you go to www.azvegan.com and click on Eating Out and then Multiple Locations, you can read all the vegan nutritional info on the Olive Garden. I know they used to only have egg noodles and now they don't but I don't dine there. I do know there's info on the above site.

raising_kahne said...

Oh ok thanks leslie! I will definately check that out! Fortunately I had the brains to call them abd ask if they had any vegan items on the menu, and the manager said that they do. Not very many, but that's ok. And she said the waiters will be more that happy to bring me a list saying what all is vegan and help me! So sopefully I will have a waiter that's nice and understands.

funwithyourfood said...

Looks yummy!

Funny thing is, I'll be eating pasta today. It our Grad-party food. : )

have a nice weekend!

Teddy

Dreena said...

Hi Savanna... I'm glad Leslie got back to you on that (thanks Leslie!!!), because I have NO clue about the Olive Garden. They aren't in our area, in fact, I am fairly certain they are only in the US. (btw, Leslie, that's a handy searching tool!)

Thanks Teddy! You are having your graduation party this weekend? How much fun!! Congratulations to you - enjoy your celebrations!! :)

raising_kahne said...

Oh that's right! I completely forgot you live in Canada! lol Well, it ended up that we didnt go tonight, my mom was really tired. So Im not so worked up anymore! haha

Mardouie said...

Thanks! that inspired me to make pasta with sweet potato, zucchini and chick peas - likewise what was sitting in my fridge. It was a great supper!

Melissa West said...

OK, I am laughing again! I have been on the same wave length as Dreena for a couple of posts over the last month. On Thursday, faced with an empty pantry, plus knowing we were going away for the weekend I decided to make a dinner based on what was left in my cupboard. I made pasta too! I poured crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, and artichoke over cooked penne and warmed it up in the oven for 30 minutes. My daughter loved it. It definitely filled our bellies and emptied our pantry!

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Mmm... sounds like a very original version of ratatouille! we've been eating tons of pasta lately too--and I've found that whole wheat pastas have gotten much, much tastier...

EatPeacePlease said...

Thanks Dreena. www.azvegan.com (saying it again) is a resourceful link even for non-arizonans (and non-U.S. too!). The page with multiple locations helps but I usually (mostly) don't dine at those chains. I think they're nasty. As for the nice small, private and local places, I support them.

Harmonia said...

This looks amazing and you know how I LOVE my pasta!!!

I posted a recipe that I attempted with a pic! Check it out!

The end of last week was crazy - I really missed visited blogs. Today will be better!

Dreena said...

Yeah, Savanna, the US/Canada differences can be troublesome in terms of accessing products, shopping, and also restaurants. Well, basically, you have more selection in most cities in all respects! But, we have a lot more here now than even just a few years ago, so I'm not complaining (too much)!

Oh, that's super, Mardouie!! Thanks for your comment, I'm glad to have sparked the pasta interest! btw - are those your own drawings on your blog... wow!!!!

Dragonslayer, that sounds terrific! I usually tend to tomato-based sauce for pasta, along with garlic and olives/artichokes (we love artichokes here). I really like your idea of baking that pasta dish too! My daughter would also love it. :)

Thanks, Amy! That's interesting about the ww pasta... I don't buy the ww pasta much, I have been leaning more towards the kamut/rice/spelt pastas. I wonder if the ww pastas have improved because it has become much more popular and people are aware that they need to get more whole grain products in their diets and so less white pasta...? Well, for whatever reason, that's a good thing!

Thanks for clarifying that, Leslie - I figured it was at least limited to the US and that Cdn info wouldn't be there... I have to check it out again now!! :)

Hi Harmonia... well we missed you too last week! I'll stop by to see the photo (we haven't seen food photos from you in a little while - exciting)!

Harmonia said...

I have been messing around with the features on my camera...I actually used the self portrait option on the pic I took. Kinda cool.

Mardouie said...

That's a collective blog, the girl with the Cat is mine. Thankyou!
(my own blog is over on Livejournal)