Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cheesy Squash Pasta

(Sorry this post is late. I just got back from Utah today.)

This is my slightly modified version of a recipe from Deceptively Delicious. Not only is it a great way to sneak in some veggies for your kids, the butternut squash flavor is awesome.

2 cups Bow Tie pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup butternut squash puree*
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. pepper

*Butternut squash puree: take a whole butternut squash, slice it in half, and bake it face down on a cookie sheet (juice is going to run out, so don't use a cookie sheet without sides). Bake at 350 for an hour or until tender. Scoop out flesh from squash and place in blender. Pulverize until smooth.

-Cook the pasta according to directions.
-While the pasta is cooking, coat a large suacepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned (1 - 2 minutes).
-Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken (3 - 4 minutes). Add the vegetable puree, the chopped pepper, cheddar, cream cheese, and seasonings. Stir until smooth.
-Stir in the pasta and serve warm.

Q: When did you start baking / cooking?
A: I've been baking & cooking since I was young, but my family had pretty limited variety in their meals. Plus, we always did everything the hard way--everything from scratch. Grind your own flour, make your own butter, grow your own food, milk your own milk, etc. Plus when you're cooking for 12+ people, things are never easy. Needless to say, cooking was always quite the endeavor. I didn't really enjoy it because it was such a chore. Now that I'm married and only cooking for 3, I like trying out new recipes and new foods. I pretty much don't ever use an actual cook book, just allrecipes.com. (But sometimes Deceptively Delicious, of course.)

Q: What is your favorite kitchen tool?
A: My Bosch and my garlic press. I also really like my ice cream scooper, but I don't think that counts.

Q: Do you have a favorite spice? If so, what is it?
A: Crushed red pepper. And fresh garlic.

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Hmmm. I guess I'll say The Hobbit today.

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A: Right now I want to go to Greece. It looks so pretty in all the movies.

Q: If you had to change your first name right now, what would you change it to?
A: When I was young I always wanted to change it to Alyse instead of Elise, because that way people wouldn't always say "Elsie" when reading my name off something. (It made me wonder just how many people out there are dyslexic. Seriously.) Now I like Elise better because it is French, and therefore cooler :). I guess if I HAD to change, I would just change it to Lise, because that's what most my friends and all my family call me anyway.

Q: Where do you currently live?
A: Chicago

Q: Where are you from?
A: Born in Houston, then moved to Saudi Arabia for seven years, a couple short spurts in Washington and Idaho, and finally to Orem, UT.

Q: If you could eat one thing for every meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Cafe Rio Chicken Salad.


Danielle said...

Grew your own food? Milked cows and made your own butter? Saudi Arabia for seven years?? Wow... sounds like you've had interesting life experiences!

Elise said...

My dad has two passions: animals, and the Middle East. Therefore, my crazy life :).