Homemade Cupboard Pasta

If there’s anything I love using the rest of the squidgy remains from the bottom of the mixed greens bag, it’s for making homemade pasta.  Not all the greens are smooshy, but they are definitely more smoothy or pasta worthy vs. a fresh, crisp salad.  Homemade pasta is such an easy pull-together cupboard meal:  Homemade pasta isn’t as daunting as you might think, and there are a variety of toppings or sauces that will elevate your meal so no one will know it’s a pulled-together-cupboard meal.

Fresh: 2-3 cups mixed greens, a few sprigs of Italian parsley.  Cupboard:  butternut squash, yellow onion, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts {I keep winter squashes and onions in my pantry, and walnuts in my freezer, so I consider these “pantry items”}.

Things are always a little more fun when you have a pair of helping hands.

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Roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, and toasted walnut gremolata…Who says a Cupboard Meal has to be a brown and tasteless meal stirred together from a box?

spinach pasta with roasted butternut squash 1spinach pasta cupboard meal


SPINACH PASTA WITH ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, CARAMELIZED ONIONS, AND TOASTED WALNUT GREMOLATA

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium, for the homemade pasta
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I follow Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Flour Basic Pasta Recipe, adding sautéed mixed greens to the dough 

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTA

  • 2 cups spinach or mixed greens
  • 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

INGREDIENTS FOR THE ROASTED SQUASH AND GREMOLATA

  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

DIRECTIONS

  1. Coat a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Sauté the spinach or mixed greens until wilted, drain all excess liquid in a colander, pressing the greens to ensure all liquid drains.
  2. Mix semolina flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well int he center.
  3. In the blender, mix the spinach, eggs, water, and olive oil until blended to a smooth consistency.  Add to the semolina flour and stir together until a rough dough forms.
  4. Use all-purpose flour to cover the work surface and dump the dough out onto the flour and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic and soft, not sticky.  You will add up to 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour into the pasta dough while kneading.  Once a smooth ball forms from kneading, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  5. While dough is resting, prepare the butternut squash.  Coat the large skillet with olive oil again, heat on medium-high heat, and sauté the butternut squash until soft when poked with a fork and golden around the edges.  Set aside in a bowl.  Add olive oil to the same pan and add the sliced onion, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce the heat to low and cook the onion until golden and soft.  Add to the same bowl with the butternut squash and set aside.
  6. Press the dough through your pasta maker according to factory instructions.  Let the pasta dough rest on parchment paper and fill a large pot with water to boil.  Salt the boiling water; the fresh pasta will take just 3-4 minutes to cook.
  7. Drain the pasta and add the pan-roasted squash and caramelized onion with the pasta back into the large pot.
  8. Add just a sprinkling of olive oil into the large skillet, heat on medium, and add the walnuts and breadcrumbs, toasting quickly.  Off heat, add the parsley.  Toss all together with the pasta and squash.
  9. Serve with a sprinkling of olive oil, and extra gremolata toppings.

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Cupboard Meals

I go grocery shopping once every two weeks.  I wish it were more often; my most favorite place in the world is strolling the aisles of international sauces, bulk whole grains, and smelling produce to bring home with me.  Forget new shoes or clothes, give me groceries!

Toward the end of the two weeks, I have to admit, I’m throwing dinner together with pretty slim pickin’s.  It’s a grab-and-go from my cupboard, supplemented with fridge-produce-scraps.  Admit it, you do the same thing.  If you don’t, I’m super embarrassed right now.  On the other hand, here’s an idea for your next Cupboard-Grab-N-Go Meal: Roasted Acorn Squash with Garbanzo Bean Lentil Stuffing.  Fresh: mixed greens, an apple.  Cupboard: Acorn squash {I’m counting this as a “Cupboard Item” because I keep winter squashes in my pantry through the winter}, canned garbanzo beans {I always think of these in Italian: “ceci”}, craisins, green lentils, bread crumbs, sunflower seeds {I keep a big container in my freezer}, “veg mix.”

About once a year I load up on HUGE amounts of carrots, celery, onions, parsley, and garlic, and I spend a couple days making vegetable stock and chopping celery, onions, and carrots to freeze for a pre-made, ready to grab veg mix to use during the slim-pickin’s time.  The chopped mix usually lasts me a whole year, and the stock usually 6-8 months, then I restock my stock.  {…haha}

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Roasting is super easy: Cut the squash, clean out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 400F for an hour.  I added a drizzle of maple syrup with this squash.

Before:

cupboard meal roast squash

After:

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Pull together the stuffing in a pot while the squash is roasting, and you’re good to go.

cupboard meal roast squash 4


 

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH WITH GARBANZO BEAN LENTIL STUFFING

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: pretty easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half and cleaned of seeds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup combined chopped carrot, celery, and yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup green or brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 apple, chopped (peeled or leave the peel on, up to you)
  • 1/4 cup craisins or currants
  • 1/2 can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • handful of mixed greens
  • sprinkling of sunflower seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400F.  Prepare acorn squash on a baking sheet: Drizzle with olive oil, divide the maple syrup between the two halves, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for at least 1 hour.  If the squash is very thick, it may take longer, just watch it.  The squash will be soft and golden brown when it’s done.
  2. While the squash is roasting, prepare the stuffing.  Coat a large pot with olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Sauté the chopped carrots, celery, and onion with salt and pepper to taste.  When the onion is translucent, add the lentils and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable stock, apple, and craisins, and let come to a boil.  Lower heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are tender and all the stock has been absorbed.
  4. Off heat, add the garbanzo beans, breadcrumbs, and mixed greens, and stir until well combined.  Cover with a lid and keep warm until the squash is done.
  5. For 2 servings, this will be a meal, just fill each acorn squash half with the lentil stuffing, sprinkle with sunflower seeds, and serve.  For 4, this will be side-sized, and will be great served with salad or soup.  Just cut the acorn squash into 4 equal portions and divide the lentil stuffing evenly.  Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve.

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