Trader Joe’s Haul
Inspired by Bri over at Design Love Fest, I wanted to make a post of my TJ Haul. I also wanted to challenge my husband and myself to see if we are able to make this one last for the week… if not longer. I’ve found that we go to the grocery store a lot, I’d say about 3-4x a week to buy a few items which leads to buying more unexpected treats.
I’ve always talked about meal prepping. I’d like to think that I’m a pretty good cook, I just need to actually take some time to prep and make meals for the week. I shopped for foods that I knew would be useful in a variety of dishes in our home. Can you tell that I’m having a huge craving for squash? I’m so excited to have butternut, delicata, and spaghetti squash. I can’t wait to share with all of you one of my favorite vegetarian recipes that my mother-in-law taught me in a later post. Hint: it involves the eggplant, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, and basil. The arugula will also be used for a homemade pizza and a steak salad this week. I’m a huge fan of the harvest grains because I like the variety of texture, plus it’s quite beautiful with the array of colors. I eat a lot of eggs too, so there will be some tortilla espanola happening in this house.
Before I left for Trader Joe’s this morning, I asked my husband to do an inspection of the fridge and to throw out anything that is no longer good. Needless to say, I’m not very happy with myself and the amount of food that’s been wasted. With the foods we already have at home (frozen meat in bulk mainly), I’m hoping that posting about my meals and eating habits will keep us in check.
It was Creative Sunday, and I wanted to make something hearty but not overwhelming. I love spaghetti alla carbonara and it’s eggy creamy goodness. I could have easily made it with the ingredients we had on hand, but I wanted to do something a bit more challenging and also to add squash to the dish. I adapted a Butternut Squash Linguine from Bon Appetit (link found here). This dish can also be made vegan just remove the pancetta and replace the chicken broth with veggie broth. I also replaced the sage with basil because we make do with what we got.
This dish was spectacular! And fairly easy to make. You definitely need a blender on hand to puree the squash, onions, and chicken broth. I could have eaten the puree by itself. I prefer Better Than Bouillon over canned chicken broth/stock. It really packs in the flavor, plus you only need a tablespoon to a cup of water.
I also found an easy way to cut and peel the squash is to slice off the ends, poke holes all around it with a fork, then pop it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. The peel should come off easily with a peeler, and your squash is slightly cooked which gives it a shorter time on the stove,
Here’s a shortened form of the recipe from Bon Appetit:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 oz. pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage. I used basil.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½” pieces (about 3 cups)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 12 oz. fettucine or linguine
- ¼ cup finely grated Pecorino, plus shaved for serving
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8–10 minutes. Add basil and toss to coat. Transfer pancetta and basil to a bowl and set aside
Add squash, onion, and garlic to skillet; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent for about 8-10 minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is soft and liquid is reduced by half, 15–20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Combine pasta, squash purée, and ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid in pot and cook over medium heat, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Mix in ¼ cup Pecorino; season with salt and pepper.
Serve pasta topped with reserved pancetta and sage, shaved Pecorino, and more pepper.