07 November 2008

Manicotti stuffed with Butternut Squash, Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes & Signature Salad

Manicotti stuffed with Butternut Squash
  • 1 box manicotti (makes 12 usually)
  • half a butternut squash
  • half a cup of sharp white cheddar cheese
  • a few handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1 jar of alfredo cheese sauce (mine had sun-dried tomato added)
So this was really labour intensive. I'm glad I made it, I reccommend making it at least once, but I'm never making it again. Unless I put the stuffing into a pastry-squeeze-thing. Maybe I'd think about it then. Basically you cut up the butternut squash first. I got the pre-halved kind. I can't imagine going to the effort of actually cooking a whole squash for this unless you were doubling the recipe, and doubling the recipe would be even more hellish than the amount I made, so really, don't.

Anyway. While you're boiling the squash, start up another big ol kettle of water for the pasta. Give them a decent amount of room to themselves, and pay attention to the cooking time on them, I think its 6-8 minutes. Any longer and they'll be soggy, which happened to me and they're more annoying to stuff. Ok, take the manicotti out and drain. When the squash is soft enough to poke a fork into easily, drain that and mash it with the cheese and the spinach. I stuffed each manicotti with the smallest spoon I had, pushing the squash/spinach/cheese into each one and laying them in a casserole dish. When I'd finished, I poured over the cheese sauce and shoved it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes and voila.

Rosemary & Garlic Fingerling Potatoes

  • 1 bag of fingerling potatoes (2 lbs maybe?)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • an entire head of garlic, diced
  • a generous amount of rosemary, fresh or dried
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • olive oil to taste
The potatoes are pretty straightforward. The main thing is to start with the onion and garlic in oil in a deep sauce pan, add the potatoes along with about a cup of water. cook the potatoes in the water for a decent while (20 mins) on medium high heat, letting the water boil off and/or get absorbed. At this point, you should be able to cut the potatoes with a wooden spoon in the sauce pan, add the butter and rosemary. Give them another twenty minutes with the cover on, let them soak up the flavor. If you like them spicy, think about adding some sort of cajun seasoning.

Signature Salad
I make it all the time. The variations this time were baby cucumbers a hella lot of poppy seeds. Plus I didn't have a pepper, so the carrot was the only finely grated bright crunchy thing. I'm compiling a few pictures of my signature salad variations, so keep an eye out.

They plated well. The sauce I put on the manicotti was pretty strong, so I'd maybe choose a lighter sauce next time. But overall the potatoes were great, the stuffing was yummy and the salad a nice light complement.

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