Butternut Squash, Spinach & Sage Pasta

img_00481I love pasta but have sworn off white flours. That’s why  I like to use spelt spaghetti or linguini for this recipe. I find rice pastas to be a bit gooey and whole wheat pastas to be…well, too whole wheat. Although not gluten free, spelt is an artesian grain I find easy to digest, healthy and as close in taste and texture to the pastas I grew up with.

This dish was inspired by a Whole Foods butternut ravioli recipe. I wanted more color (and garlic!) and less cheese and butter.  So I added fresh spinach bountiful in the spring, used olive oil and fresh garlic cloves, and traded cheese ravioli for spelt pasta. Yum!

2 cups butternut squash, cut in cubes
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, mInced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 box (8 oz) spelt spaghetti or linguini
2 cups packed fresh spinach leave

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan, toss squash in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped sage and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven approximately 25 minutes till tender.  Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Add remaining olive oil to large skillet with onions and garlic and saute on medium heat until onion is translucent. Add remainder of sage leaves and vegetable broth. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add drained spaghetti, butternut squash and spinach and quickly toss until spinach is wilted. Serve alone or with grated parmesan if desired.

Apple Butter Pulled-Pork

August 24, 2010 by Barb Scala  
Filed under Bloomin in the Kitchen, main meals

I wanted something easy to make the day before a summer barbecueimg_2178, but don’t like to using processed BBQ sauce.

Lisa, my recipe-trading friend from “forever,” suggested this slow cooked pulled pork recipe using apple butter. For a bit more sweet you can add some apricot preserves but try and find fruit butters and preserves with low or no added refined sugar. The apple butter I used here was organic and the pork “butt” was farm raised. But pork tenderloins work just as well.

3 lbs pork butt or pork tenderloins
1 1/2 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups apple butter
2 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples
salt & pepper to taste

Put all ingredients, except apple butter and apples, in a slow cooker for 8 to 10 hours. After two hours add the apple butter. Add the apple slices for the last hour of cooking. When fully cooked, pork should pull apart very easily and will have absorbed the liquids.

Serves 4 to 6 as sandwiches or over “dirty” brown rice. Can be made one day in advance, reheated and served. If not using a slow cooker, cover and bake at 300 degrees.