Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Macaroni and Cheese

Acorn Squash Stuffed With Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Les Ingredients:
2 Acorn Squash, Split
4 Thick Cut Strips of Bacon
2 Tablespoons of Butter
2.5 Tablespoons of Flour
3 Cups Milk
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
Cayenne Pepper
Kosher Salt
2.5 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (Additional for Sprinkling)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
8 Ounces Pasta. (Shells, Elbows, Penne. Whatever.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Halve the Acorn Squash and remove the seeds. Place in Pyrex Baking Dish cut side up. Add water to bottom of pan (Maybe half an inch). Salt the top of the halved squash. Cover with Tin Foil and Bake for 45-60 minutes.


Boil 8 ounces of Pasta 1-2 minutes less than package directions. Drain well.
In large saucepan over medium-low heat, render fat from and cook 4 thick strips of bacon.
Remove bacon when cooked to paper towels.
Add 2 Tablespoons of Butter and melt.
Whisk in 2.5 Tablespoons of flour to make a roux.
Stir the roux over medium heat 2-3 minutes
(At this point I add some flavoring. Freshly Grated Nutmeg and a pinch of Cayenne Pepper are my favorite)
Slowly Whisk in 3 cups of Milk. Continue whisking until it's incorporated. Stir until sauce thickens (5 minutes usually does it)
This is where I add my Kosher Salt. Coupla Pinches.
Add 2.5 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, a little at a time, stirring to incorporate each handful.
Add 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese and stir to incorporate.
Sauce should be thick but not stiff.
Return Par-Boiled Pasta to Cheese Saucepan and Mix Well.
Crumble Bacon into smaller pieces, sprinkle them over the Macaroni and Cheese and Mix to Incorporate.
***The Cheese Sauce will look like it's "Too Much" for the Pasta. It isn't. That's the key to this dish. The pasta should look "over sauced" at this point!***
Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, in casserole or Pyrex dish. (I usually put it beside the squash for the last half of cooking)
Remove Baked Macaroni from oven and set on cooktop.
Remove Squash from oven, drain water and return to Pyrex.
Top each half with generous, heaping portion of Macaroni and Cheese.
Sprinkle with Cheddar and return to oven for 10 minutes, to meld and melt.

Yum. (No, seriously. YUM. This stuff ROCKS!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Pesto Pasta

Pesto with Roasted Summer Vegetables, Garlic, and Fresh Mozzarella

...got bored. Felt like cooking.

Homemade Pesto Sauce:
Fresh Basil and Parsley
Pine Nuts
Garlic Cloves
Olive Oil
In a food processor, blend everything except the oil until incorporated.
Drizzle in Extra Virgin Olive Oil while blending until flavor and consistency is as you'd like.

Yellow Squash
Dice uniformly and drizzle with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Allow to mellow in the bowl. Preheat oven to 325. Arrange veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake till just softening.

Pasta: Orichette. Cook and drain.

Fresh Mozzarella Ovoline.

Toss pasta with Pesto Sauce. Add in mozzarella Ovoline, roasted veggies, and toss.