My choice of Christmas dinner this year - the fifth one I've cooked without meat - went down pretty well. It was a butternut squash stuffed with a rice mixture. If you fancy trying it yourself you can find the recipe here.
But this blog posts isn't actually about that. It's about what I did with the leftover butternut squash.
Whilst you all know I love cooking, I usually work out of a recipe book and rarely create my own recipes. But in one of the recipe books I received in my Christmas stocking, I began picking up on new possible favour combinations which set a bit of inspiration off inside of me. Helped by the fact that I was in my parents kitchen - which is a tad fancier than my own one!
For the pasta:
two tablespoons oil
one de-seeded and roughly chopped butternut squash
three garlic cloves, chopped
10 sage fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
Chopped fresh parsley
three teaspoons of soy sauce
bag of large pasta shells
For the pepper sauce:
1 onion, chopped
2 squirts low-cal oil spray
2 roasted red peppers (such as the ones you get in jars)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Small dash of date, maple or agave syrup
½ tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 tsp soya sauce
100ml/4fl oz vegetable stock
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of chilli powder (optional)
(The pepper sauce recipe comes from this recipe here).
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the butternut squash. Cook until it softens and gets a bit crispy. It will also shrink in size.
2. Add the garlic and sage to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Splash in the soy sauce as well. Take off the heat and allow the flavours to blend.
3. Cook the pasta shells according to the instructions. This is also when you can make the pepper sauce using this recipe.
4. Once all three parts are ready, grab a baking dish. Pour the pepper sauce into the dish, and then stuff each pasta shell individually before placing in the dish.
5. Sprinkle the parsley around the pasta and do a final seasoning blast of salt and pepper
6. Heat up in the oven for 15-20 minutes, at at temperature of 180 degrees Celsius.
7. Take out the oven and have a bite (dry white wine goes well with this!).
Let me know if you try this recipe out!