How to Beat the Bus Stop Blues

Well, those of you previously lamenting the warm winter temps… I hope you are happy. Winter is here and my morning bus stop is rough… You can find me cowering from the wind, desperately pushing the heat lamp button for relief.

Your snow, your wind and frost tipped trees appeared.

Winter is here.

Guess what winter does to me. It makes me crave all the carbs. All the carbs piled high in sauce.

Perhaps a creamy sauce, one with roasted tomatoes, slowly simmering away. Or a butternut squash sauce.. hmmm..  Topped of with parm and basil… fresh basil.

Like farmers market basil…. that I cannot access for another 5 months at least.  Instead I settle for the “living basil” at my local grocery store and gamble on its longevity.

So in order to beat my bus stop blues, I slice up a butternut squash, roast it away and pray it becomes the sauce my chilled soul is craving.

Sigh. But oo this pasta dish will do.

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So you winter people, join me in some carbs?

You will need:

  • 3/4 Cup of Veggie Broth
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream or Milk
  • 1 Butternut Squash, Cubed
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • Arugula
  • Handful of Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Egg
  • Handful of Basil
  • 1 12-15 oz Container of Ricotta
  • Cooked Shell Pasta (1 package)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, Cayenne Optional
  • One Chopped White Onion

Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees. Throw the chopped squash and onions on a baking pan. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast them in the oven for about 40 minutes. While the veggies are roasting, heat olive oil, onion and one clove of garlic. Once the onion has softened,  then throw in and brown the Italian Sausage. Once the sausage is cooked, add three large handfuls of arugula to the pan. This will cook down a ton.

Once the arugula has wilted, take the pan off the heat and set aside. In a mixing bowl add the ricotta, the egg and a touch of salt and pepper. Next add the sausage arugula mixture. Combine until evenly mixed.

Take your sausage ricotta mixture and stuff each shell with about a spoonful and a half.

Once your veggies have roasted, add them to your food processor. Add in cayenne to taste and two whole cloves of garlic, 3/4 cup of veggie stock and the one cup of milk or heavy cream.

 Blend away to a nice smooth consistency. Pour your now butternut squash sauce into the bottom of a baking pan. Place the stuffed shells on top of the sauce in the baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Once the sauce bubbles, remove and top with chopped basil and a handful of parmesan cheese.

Dig in, enjoy and forget about those howling winter winds, and tomorrow’s bus stop blues 🙂


Ode to the Squash

Tis the squash season right? I see squash recipes everywhere, Pinterest, Blogs, Instagram; the squash praises are being sung.

When G was in town she treated me to a little squash dish, one I just had to recreate.

However I admit, I bought a different type of squash. It was in the carton labeled squash, I just grabbed…. and this one took like an hour in the oven…

And I know I did not follow her recipe, as my mind has been inundated with squash!

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Cutting these suckers in half leads to grabbing my largest, sharpest knife; stabbing the middle and inevitably pounding them onto the counter…

Which I’m sure the new neighbors loved.. the ugly new counter just fell victim to my squash technique… sorry new landlord, not sorry.

Spooning out what I lovingly refer to as the GUTS is the worst part…. that texture… reminds me why I was never a big pumpkin fan.

I know, I just admitted to the worst fall sin; I don’t get pumpkins. (cue Halloween Shriek)

For the most simple squash dish ever:

Brown Italian Sausage, then sauté in some kale and a few cloves of garlic.

Where the GUTS once lived, spoon in the sausage/kale mixture and top with shredded Jarlsberg cheese and bread crumbs.


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Now go enjoy some squash!

What is on your menu this week?