Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Butternut Squash "Noodles"

My family loves pasta. Like, LUUUUUURRRRRRVVVVVS pasta. Its been one of the hardest things to give up, until I stumbled upon rice pasta. Since rice doesn't bother anyone in the family I tend to keep several packages of different style noodles in the pantry. It makes for quick meals when time or energy is lacking.

I really prefer to use veggies to make noodles though. Not only do they have more flavor than rice (or wheat) noodles they also provide more nutrients. Plus, any day now I will start drowning in zucchini and noodlizing is great for the mini-boats that always appear.. Munchkin however, has a different view of zucchini noodles, mainly that they are gross GREEN things. *le sigh*

I was looking around seeing what else I could turn into noodles when my eye stumbled on a butternut squash I picked up a while ago. It has been sitting lonely on the corner of the counter, oozing autumn promises but I just couldn't bring myself to make squash n' bacon soup in the 90+ degree heat. Hmmm...noodles?

I washed and peeled the squash, broke out my trusty julienne slicer (someday I'll get a spiralizer like the cool kids) and went at it.

Soon I had a bowl full of orange 'noodles'. I added a splash of olive oil, a shake of sea salt and coarse-ground pepper, and mixed everything up with my hands. Raw they were tasty though very...squash-flavored. I wanted to bring out the sweetness in the squash so I roasted them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, just enough to make them tender. Success! Sweet with just a hint of autumnness. I added parsley flakes (I didn't have any fresh) and  a bit of fresh Parmesan-Romano. Doesn't it look good?

Tadpole and Hubby devoured theirs, Munchkin took one bite and made a face. Oh well, she tried it. Next time I'll add sauce and see what happens.

Butternut Squash 'Noodles'

One whole butternut squash, washed and peeled 
Julienne slicer or spiralizer (or wicked knife skills)
Flavorings of your choice (A rich red sauce? Pesto? The skies the limit on what you put on it.)

Carefully slice/spiralize the squash. You can cut off the round, hollow end and only noodle the solid top portion but you'll get longer 'noodles' if you include the end part. Easier to do this in a large bowl as the squash will be slippery and want to move around.

You are done! Enjoy your noodles raw or...

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss noodles with 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite cooking fat (my fav is duck fat) and a shake or two of salt and pepper
Spread 'noodles' out on a cookie sheet aiming for a thin layer
Bake for 2-8 minutes, checking and occasionally stirring so nothing burns. Taste and pull when the 'noodles' reach your preferred texture
Serve warm with your choice of sauce/flavorings

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