A few seasons ago, Allison's mom presented me with a butternut squash grown from her own backyard... and I had no idea what to do with it. Mrs. Haraguchi's suggestion was to roast it, but there's only so much roast squash a guy can eat! By the way, it was a huge butternut squash... huge. So I planned out two dishes with this grand gourd... a squash and bacon pasta carbonara and a squash and sweet potato Japanese curry.
To make the carbonara, I roasted one half of the butternut squash. I brushed the top with olive oil and tossed some salt and pepper over the top. After rendering the bacon, I tossed in the pasta noodles with eggs and heavy cream, making sure not to overheat the pan. If the pan is too hot, then the eggs will curdle, and the pasta will taste like tofu has attacked it. While tossing all of the ingredients together, I added cubes of the roasted squash and garnished it with fresh basil at the very end.
Japanese curry is relatively simple to make using the box of concentrated cubes of curry. Rather than using the usual Idaho potatoes, I substituted sweet potatoes and fresh butternut squash in for the starchy base. I cut a high quality beef into cubes and browned it along with onions, garlic, celery and carrots. After adding in the appropriate portion of water to curry cubes, I added in the starches and canned corn. When serving, spoon the curry over a bed of steamed rice (brown rice if you're feeling healthy), and garnish with toasted sliced almonds. This is definitely a unique take on the traditional Japanese curry.
With all of my remaining vegetables, I made a vegetable soup. It isn't the most exciting of soups, so I amped it up with some... bacon! Bacon makes everything more exciting, doesn't it? And to add even more oomph to the soup, I spooned in some pesto to the base... and I also made sure to include the celery leaves (not just the stalks) because they smelled so fresh and aromatic when I first got them. I also added in cherry tomatoes as an interesting twist.
I was pretty amazed at the amount of food that I made with just one homegrown butternut squash. Next time I am going to attempt making a butternut squash panna cotta that I saw on Iron Chef America. But until then, thanks so much for the squash, Mrs. Haraguchi... let's get S.O.F.A.T.
ML - 20120604