Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Eat Local Challenge, Weeks 3 & 4

I'm lumping the third and fourth weeks of this Eat Local month because quite frankly I don't have enough to talk about. Whether it is just a lack of motivation over the stretch, or just an inability to make this eating local thing to happen in a practical way, the food entering our bodies has been just shy of "local". Ok, way shy.

I don't want to embark on a long diatribe about how tough the Eat Local Challenge was this year, or how much or how little effort I ended up putting into it. I did what I could, and managed to come out ok, Challenge wise. I certainly earned a new level of respect for those who are diligent and creative enough to source each of their meals from local producers. I didn't believe it would be as difficult as I found it to find locally produced foods for each meal, or even a majority of meals, for each day.

We did manage to end the month on a high note. Thanks to fellow foodie Stacey Snacks, we put together this delicious Autumn Pasta with Butternut Squash & Italian Sausage. I borrowed this recipe from Stacey, and I am sure glad I did. Thanks, Stacey! Here is the recipe, as I found it. All of the ingredients, save the pasta, were locally produced and purchased either at Andronico's Market or were already in my kitchen. Here we go.

Autumn Pasta With Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash
1 Butternut Squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Italian Sausages, casings removed
2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
3 tbsp of chopped, fresh Sage
1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup white wine
8 oz. penne pasta (about 1/2 box)

Coat a large, heavy skillet with olive oil. Cook the butternut squash on high, not moving around too much, until edges begin to caramelize, about 5 min. Remove from pan. Now, add your sausage, and break it up in the pan. After that has browned, about 5 mins, add garlic, sage, and white wine and simmer for 3 minutes or until liquid is evaporated.

Add chicken stock and butternut squash and simmer for 10 minutes, until squash is tender. While the squash is simmering, boil your pasta in salted water and drain. Add squash to pasta and serve. For a nice finish, add some shredded Parmesan cheese over the top.