The first time I made this pasta was during college. My roommate and I had spent a good half hour trying to use our cheap vegetable peeler and grater to beat the butternut squash into submission. Our other roommate heard the whining and cursing coming from the kitchen and generously offered to help. We left him alone in the kitchen for a few minutes and when we got back, there was butternut squash everywhere. It was on the counters, floor, and even some on the walls. Thankfully, it was also his night to clean the kitchen.
Moral of the story, I do not know of an easy way to peel and grate a butternut squash. Using a good, sharp peeler and grater helps, a lot. I highly recommend a Y shaped peeler. But ideally, get someone else to do it for you – this is an excellent task to pawn off on an unsuspecting friend. It is worth it for this pasta though. It’s creamy, flavorful, and with the exception of the squash, quite easy. I added a generous amount of pepper. And of course, don’t skimp on the cheese. Cheese is key.
Unfortunately, we ate dinner around 8 this night, so I promise this cauliflower and brown rice gratin tastes so much better than my picture looks. It’s flavorful, creamy, and delicious – perfect for the chilly week we’ve been having so far.
While admittedly not the same as our favorite Indian takeout, this recipe for channa masala is easy and tasty. I have a feeling the difference is partly due to the amount of butter involved and while I will always love the real deal, it’s nice to have a healthier option as well. We served it with brown rice and creamed spinach, in the spirit of palak paneer.
The spinach was a surprise hit, especially given how simple it was to make. I was a little intimidated by the thought of making a béchamel sauce, and was terrified that I was going to burn the roux, but thankfully, it ended up being far easier than I expected. The way the sauce thickens when you add milk is like a little bit of kitchen magic. I didn’t measure anything but I think it merits bare bones instructions, if not an actual recipe – I’m certainly planning on making this again.
Steam a bunch of spinach and roughly chop it
Make a roux (more on that here) and add cream, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper