FOOD

The (unknown) object of my desire.

Butternut SquashIf you have ever lived in England, the US, South Africa, Australia, or Mexico, chances are you know the vegetable pictured on the left: butternut squash. It belongs to the cucurbitaceae family, like pumpkins and courgettes.
It’s very versatile; you can roast it and eat it like potatoes, or puree it and make a soup. It’s good with sesame seeds and also with cheese. I still have not tried a pasta sauce recipe (from Courtney’s husband) which mixes butternut squash with garlic, red pepper, sage and pine nuts… but it sounds yummy!

I love butternut squash! It must be the flavour (which is less sweet than pumpkin) together with the colour, which reminds me of summer even on the darkest winter days.

butternut squash cut openUnfortunately I live in Italy and squash are basically unknown here, (and on top of that– people can’t seem to agree on what to call them)! During the fall I found organic butternut squash at my supermarket, Esselunga, and it went under the name of “yellow pumpkin”. I bought a couple of them and went to my local greengrocer carrying one of them like a trophy. I was hoping that once he saw it, he could tell me its name in Italian and could supply it to me whenever I needed some. (I had in fact become a loyal customer during the last months of the pregnancy– his outrageously high prices had become somehow less important given that his shop is about 100 meters from my doorstep)! But when he saw it, he called it “long pumpkin”, which didn’t sound very official, and he added that he only gets it when the other pumpkin’s season is over. Not a chance of buying it for me alone. (Butternut squash are very difficult to find apparently).

After moving from London to Italy I knew I was going to miss many things like pubs, fry-ups, parks… but who knew I was going to miss a vegetable???

-Michela


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Comments (2)

Courtney
February 3, 2008

We ALWAYS have a butternut squash in the kitchen! (They last for a long time, so it’s an easy thing to always have on-hand)! Like you said, they are so versatile! And you never know when you will find yourself without food in the fridge to make for dinner. Whenever this happens to us, we bring out the butternut squash and make dinner with it. The pasta is our FAVORITE! (Even the kids LOVE it).
All you have to do is roast the squash for 40 minutes in the oven, take it out and peel it, and then sautee all the ingredients in a big pan… and voila- dinner is ready!

How sad you can’t always find it in Italy! Do you want me to send you some??
xx


Esther
February 5, 2008

I loooooove BN (Butternut Squash)!
I love the pasta from Courtney’s husband, I make it all the time! Basically, sautee garlic and chili, add sage, the roasted BN, mash, add some crème fraiche if you wish, mix with pasta (all dente of course) and serve with roasted pine nuts, parmezan and rucola. Yummy!
Also, small children tend to like it because it’s soft and sweet. And, like all things orange, it’s very healthy!


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