Each Monday I share a quick look at one of our recent dinners – usually captured using my iPhone – and give you a quick breakdown of how the meal was made.
Two weeks ago, I had the good fortune to attend a media event with Jamie Oliver. He was there to promote his new partnership with Sobeys, and his new book, Save With Jamie, and he spent a good chunk of time discussing home cooking, economical meals, and eating well. Much of what he said stuck with me, and I've been even more inspired to reduce our food waste while shopping and cooking economically.
The results have been surprisingly tasty, easy on the wallet, and have made good use of the things that are hanging out in the fridge looking for a facelift in the form of dinner. Inspired by what I learned from Jamie that night, I grabbed a box of pasta from the pantry last week and rummaged through the fridge to find three sausages, one leek, half a bag of frozen peas, and the long neck of a small butternut squash. Instantly, I knew just what to make.
While the pasta cooked, I peeled and cubed the squash and boiled it in a small pot, cooking it until it was soft enough to pierce with tines of a fork. At the same time, I removed the sausages from their casings and cooked them until the meat was crumbled and crispy. Once transferred to a paper-towel lined plate, I added the thinly sliced leeks to the pan with some of the oil left behind from the meat, and tossed in the peas once the leeks were golden and soft. The sausage was added back to the pan, and the squash was drained and transferred to my food processor.
I strained the pasta and returned it to the pot, adding the sausage and veggie mixture to the noodles. A good glug of milk, salt, pepper, and a handful of grated parmesan cheese was added to the squash and blended to create a smooth sauce for the pasta. I poured it over, tossed everything together and served it to the kids who were thrilled with the dish – a true accomplishment given that their noses are usually turned up whenever any kind of squash hits the table.