Doctor: "Marisa, do you know why you got sick?"
Doctor: "Did you eat something that made you sick?"
Doctor: "Which part of the house were you in when you ate something nasty?"
Me: "I was in the basement." (In my parents' old house, we would sometimes get to eat our dinner in the rec room downstairs so we could watch TV).
By the now the doctor is smiling and nodding, thinking he solved the mystery.
Doctor: "Marisa, did you eat something downstairs that made you sick?"
Doctor: "What did you eat? Did it make you sick right away?"
Me: "Yes it did, it was awful. I had to eat stuffed peppers and squash."
I seriously thought this doctor was going to pee himself laughing. He was convinced that I went down in the basement and ate some kind of cleaning product or rat poison. Little did he know as a child I was forced to stuffed peppers and squash, which in turn made me vomit uncontrollably for days (in my little kid mind, anyway). The next morning the nurse came in to replace the IV bag, and she told me they filled it with stuffed peppers and squash. hahahahaha.
Okay, enough with story time. I would like to state that I have overcome my childhood fear of squash, and I was brave enough to give Giada's penne with butternut squash and goat cheese recipe a try. Surprisingly, both Will and I really enjoyed it! I substituted whole wheat penne for regular, since I'm trying to watch what I eat. Since squash is in season, this is a fantastic dish to make for a fall weeknight.
Giada's Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 1 (2-pound) butternut or kombucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook's Note)
- 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
1. Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water.
6. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce.
7. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil.
Garnish with Parmesan and serve.