Avocado Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, and Fromage Blanc

You may think that pasta with summer squash doesn’t sound very seasonal. But somehow in the Bay Area, it is! My garden is still growing tomatoes and squash, even if not at a very fast rate.

I was craving this bright pasta, not only because it’s delicious, but I love that the colors are aligned with the holidays. It’s basically a present to anyone’s tummy because, for one thing, the avocado sauce is phenomenal.

If you have time to make this 30-minute pasta during this crazy holiday week, I highly recommend it! If summer squash isn’t available, you can use zucchini.

Pro Tip: Feel free to substitute queso fresco or greek yogurt for fromag blanc.

Avocado Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, and Fromage Blanc

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 6-8

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 lb small summer squash or zuchinni, quartered vertically, sliced into ¼-inch wide wedges
1 tbsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped
4 tsp garlic, roughly chopped, divided
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup basil or epazote leaves, packed
4 garlic cloves, whole
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1 cup fromage blanc
4 green onions, light and dark green parts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
24 oz fresh pappardelle pasta
Pecorino cheese, for grating

To Garnish
Basil leaves, roughly chopped
Red pepper flakes
Grated pecorino cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add tomatoes, squash, thyme, and 3 tsp garlic to a baking sheet in a single layer. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil to combine. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Roast vegetables for 25 minutes, turning halfway through, and continue cooking until the tomatoes have burst and the squash is tender.

In a small saucepan, heat ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, basil leaves, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes over very low heat (below a simmer) for about 20 minutes, until the garlic is golden. Allow basil oil to cool.

Add avocado, fromage blanc, 2 tbsp olive oil, green onions, 1 tsp chopped garlic, lemon juice, ½ lemon zest, and ½ tsp kosher salt to a food processor. Pulse until the sauce is smooth.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pappardelle and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to the pot.

To the pasta, gently stir in the avocado sauce, basil oil, and roasted vegetables. Add ¼ cup reserved pasta water at a time if necessary to thin the sauce.

Add pasta to plates and garnish with chopped basil leaves, red pepper flakes, and pecorino cheese.



Zuchetti alla Puttanesca

If you’re ever craving pasta, but trying to watch your waistline, I have the recipe for you!

This Zucchetti alla Puttanesca recipe, a.k.a. Puttanesca with Zucchini Noodles is a low-calorie pasta option! 20 oz of zucchini noodles will only set you back 30 nutritious calories per serving versus 400 calories in 1 lb of spaghetti. 

Are you still following?! That is an insane calorie difference.

Luckily, this spicy puttanesca sauce pairs extremely well with the zoodles. Adding some oil, olives, anchovies, and parmesan cheese bumps up the calories to 400 per serving, which is perfect amount for many of us to stay satisfied!

What’s even more exciting is that I produced my first cooking video! Check out the step-by-step process for Zuchetti alla Puttanesca at my new IGTV channel! Note: the video is best watched on a mobile device!

Zucchetti alla Puttanesca

Inspired by Epicurious
Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4
1 ¼ lb zucchini (about 5 medium) or ¼ lb store-bought zucchini noodles
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes in puree with basil
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved, pitted
2 tbsp anchovy fillets in oil, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped, divided
1.25 cups parmesan cheese, grated, divided
Using a spiralizer, cut Zucchini into thick spiral noodles.
Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, olives, anchovies, and capers. Break up tomatoes up with a spoon and simmer for 15 minutes, until thickened.
Meanwhile, in a separate large skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook until Zucchini is soft, but still al dente, about 2-3 minutes. Drain excess water.
Transfer Zucchini to the puttanesca sauce and simmer until combined, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp parsley and 1 cup parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on plates and garnish with additional parmesan cheese and parsley.



Cheesy Chickpea Pasta with Spring Greens, Tomatoes, and Olives

What's better than making pasta with your own olive oil and home cured olives? Not much! Except maybe making pasta with garden grown spring greens and red pepper flakes. In another year or two, our caper plant might even produce fruit, which will make this recipe homemade times a million!

Last Christmas, my family and I went out olive picking near my sister's house in an abandoned orchard along Folsom, CA's Pioneer Express Trail. Between the six of us who foraged for these Mission olives, we picked at least 40 pounds, and didn't even make a dent in any of the lush trees! My husband Adrian and I took half of the bounty, determined to cure olives successfully for the first time and make our own oil.

After week of some intense labor where we pitted olives by hand for days, Adrian fashioned his own olive oil press, and we processed every last olive we picked! By the end of January, we had a few jars of the yummiest olives and olive oil, although a little less oil than we hoped. Next year we'll just buy a press!

The whole process was quite a labor of love, but we are so proud to be able to use our olives and oil in our home cooking. 

My pasta recipe below was the perfect medium for our homemade/homegrown ingredients. I used Banza's chickpea rotini pasta, which is gluten-free, and was actually very impressed how well their pasta mimics wheat pasta! The chickpeas add tons of additional protein and fiber and have less net carbohydrates than traditional pasta. [Full disclosure: Banza sent me free product to sample]. An addition of spring greens from my garden (kale rabe, kale greens, and watercress) made this pasta not only extremely yummy, but pretty darn healthy!

Whether or not you're making this recipe with your own home-cured olives, you will certainly enjoy it! The flavors are on point and the pasta is so very comforting.

Cheesy Chickpea Pasta with Spring Greens, Tomatoes, and Olives

Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz Banza Chickpea Rotini
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
2 oz canned anchovies in olive oil
½ cup mission olives, halved, or Kalamata olives
3 tbsp capers
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
8 oz mixed spring greens, such as kale, rapini, watercress
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated, divided

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rotini and cook until al dente, about 6-7 minutes. Drain and return the rotini to the pot. 

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, anchovies with oil, olives, capers, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Simmer the sauce for four minutes, crushing the tomatoes with a spoon. Slowly add spring greens to the sauce and stir until all of the greens have wilted. 

Transfer pasta to the skillet and gently toss with ¾ cup parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to low and stir until pasta and cheese are well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.

Serve pasta in bowls and garnish with remaining parmesan cheese.



Hearts of Palm Pasta with Sausage Ragu

I've often thought that a convincing low-carb pasta was almost impossible. In theory, I thought that maybe a food scientist would someday concoct something made from wonky processed food ingredients that could be believable. But pasta made out of real food that is low-carb? No way.

Palmini pasta was kind enough to send me a couple cans of their hearts of palm pasta. At only 90 calories, 18g of carbs, and 12g of fiber per can, I was skeptical. How could it be so healthy, but taste so similar to pasta?

I figured I could at least give one can of Palmini a whirl with a basic sausage ragu. To say I was impressed with the result would be an understatement.

When I opened my first can, I started snacking on the pasta right away. Luckily I didn't eat too much, so I didn't have to open up a second can to complete the recipe! I can't wait to cook up my next can soon!

Whether or not you're cooking with Palmini, this ragu is amazing and will be great with regular pasta too. Or if one person at your dinner table is living a low-carb or keto lifestyle, but you need your wheat noodles, why not make pasta two ways? Yep, now everyone's palates can be pleased!

Hearts of Palm Pasta with Sausage Ragu

Time: 35 Minutes
Serves: 4

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
5 bratwurst sausages (about 1 lb), casings removed
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 medium carrot, grated
2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if desired)
1/4 cup Ruby port wine
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 can Palmini pasta, rinsed and drained
2/3 cups parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add bratwurst and fennel seeds and cook until the sausage starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add grated carrot and cook until sausage is completely cooked through, about 5 more minutes. 

Add an additional tablespoon of oil to the skillet and stir in garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in port and bring to a boil and cook until the wine almost evaporates, about 1-2 minutes. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, until the flavors combine. Discard bay leaves.

Add Palmini pasta to the ragu and stir in parmesan and parsley until combined, about 3 minutes. Serve on plates and garnish with additional parsley and parmesan if desired.



Kale and Green Bell Pepper Pasta with Goat Cheese and Parmesan

It's the middle of December, but my California garden is still going strong with kale and green bell peppers. I'm not a big fan of stuffed bell peppers, so I have to get creative in my kitchen every week or two in an attempt to use up every last one!

While we usually opt for red bell peppers in pasta, this recipe was a great way to use up our cute little green ones instead. They're still sweet and provide a nice texture that pairs well with kale and corkscrew pasta. 

Ready in 30 minutes or less, you'll also love this whole grain pasta between the tanginess of the goat cheese and lemon zest, which are balanced with a little umami from the parmesan cheese. It's bright, healthy, and just as important, finger-lickin' delicious! 

Kale and Green Pepper Pasta

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

1 large bunch kale, about ¾ lb, stemmed, and roughly chopped
¾ pound kamut khorasan corkscrew pasta
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp capers, drained
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup white wine (optional)
¾ cup goat cheese, crumbled
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Lemon wedges to serve

Bring a large pot salted of water to a boil. Add kale and boil until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the kale to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. 

Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water, and set aside.

While the pasta boils, heat olive oil in a large medium skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and peppers and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic, capers, and red pepper flakes, and season with salt to taste. Add the lemon juice, zest, and white wine, and simmer until the wine is nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Return the kale and pasta to the pan and stir until combined (add reserved pasta water if the pasta is dry). 

Stir in goat cheese and parmesan until the pasta is well coated and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls, squeezing over lemon wedges if desired.



Kale Pasta with Kale Flowers in a Garlic-Infused Tomato Sauce

I’ve been meaning to make pasta with kale flowers for a while now, but I finally did it! 

Kale is by far the most successful plant in our garden. It’s literally towering over everything right now and is at least 6 feet tall. But this year, our lovely Portuguese kale went to flower a little sooner than usual. I think it’s because we had so much rain that made the kale so healthy and happy that it decided to send off its seeds to our garden. That’s totally fine with me!

So instead of just yanking out the plants, we’re used them in pasta. The end result? Nutritious and delicious! Like other edible flowers, I imagine these would be great in a salad, soup, or even as a cocktail garnish.

I initially intended to use the flowers when they were first produced because they look a lot like broccoli raab early on. As they mature, there’s less raab and more flower. You can use raab-like kale flowers in this recipe if you prefer and use less kale leaves or none at all. But I really enjoyed taking advantage of the beautiful yellow flowers because they added a really nice texture to the dish.

I couldn’t find the specific nutrition facts of kale flowers online, but many other edible flowers are high in vitamin C and vitamin A. Plus, it makes sense that at least some of the benefits of kale, like its antioxidant content, would transfer to the flowers as well, right?

Kale Pasta with Kale Flowers in a Garlic-Infused Tomato Sauce

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

12 oz dried casarecce pasta
1 medium bunch kale, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup garlic stuffed green olives, halved, garlic cloves chopped
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
4 anchovies, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup packed kale flowers, stemmed
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

To Garnish
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/4 kale flowers

Bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add pasta and boil for 5 minutes. Add kale and continue cooking until pasta is al dente, about 5 minutes longer. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a medium skillet, add olive oil, fresh garlic, and cured garlic cloves over medium-high heat. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, green olives, and anchovies and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, about 3-4 minutes. Add kale flowers and cook gently stirring for 1 minute. 

Return pasta to the pot over medium high heat and add the tomato sauce. Stir to combine and add parsley and parmesan cheese. Cook until flavors meld, about 3 minutes. Serve on plates and garnish with parmesan cheese, parsley, and kale flowers. 



Fresh Pasta with Favas, Tomatoes, and Sausage

Fava beans are growing like crazy in my garden right now and that makes me soooo happy! This season Adrian and I grew more favas than ever and we have enough to make a few different fava bean recipes. I bet you can see the smile on my face as I’m typing this.

Also known as broad beans, fava beans have actually been grown for ages! Humans have been growing them for consumption in the Mediterranean since at least 6500 BC and began cultivation even earlier in the Middle East.

I'm guessing one reason we've grown them this long is because they’re ridiculously healthy! One cup of fava beans will provide you with 44% of the folate you need per day, 36% of your manganese, and 37% of your fiber. They’re also buttery and sweet, so they’re the best combination of tasty and healthy in  my opinion.

One of our favorite fava bean pasta recipes is by Alex Palermo. It’s so good that it would be a shame for you to make any alterations, except maybe adding some red pepper flakes. I recommend making this recipe as is before making any substitutions or omissions. 

Also be sure to make this fava bean recipe with high quality Italian sausage, plum tomatoes, and Pecorino Romano so that your taste buds are guaranteed to be dazzled. We hadn’t tried this fava recipe in a few years and were taken aback by how good it was...AGAIN! Serve the pasta up with a little red or white wine and your meal is complete.

Speaking of wine, Pulltaps sent me a free corkscrew to share with all of you and it’s pretty neat! Check out the corkcscrew below with my Diet Assassinista logo superimposed over one of my Instagram recipes!  

To pull this off (if you don't mind my play on words!), Pulltaps used a sublimation technique, which can be used with any picture or logo. The quality is super top-notch. Is it okay that I feel a little extra special having my own personalized corkscrew? I hope so. Be sure to check out their website if you want to purchase your own personalized corkscrew too!

Back to the recipe, it is super easy to make. The only time consuming part is peeling fava beans, so I recommend two people for the task if you want dinner to be done in a jiffy. But if you only have two hands, the positive side of peeling favas on your own is that the process can be very meditative. Just turn on some nice music and get ready to get to know this delicious bean a little better. 

Do note: if you’re on an MAOI inhibitor or have G6PD, you will want to steer clear of the bean! I bet you probably already knew that anyway! 

Fresh Pasta with Favas, Tomatoes, and Sausage

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 pound Italian sausages, casings removed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 3/4 cups chopped plum tomatoes
1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (from about 1 pound), blanched 3 minutes then peeled
3/4 pound fresh pasta sheets, cut as desired
2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus additional for passing

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add next 3 ingredients. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add sausages; break up with fork. Sauté until brown, about 3 minutes. Add wine; simmer 1 minute, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes and fava beans. Sauté until tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot.

Add sauce to pasta. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid as needed if dry, about 2 minutes. Mix in 2 tablespoons cheese. Transfer pasta to bowl. Serve, passing additional cheese.



Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Garden Greens

Who is craving pasta today?! This Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Garden Greens has everything your taste buds need to get excited! 

One of the first pasta dishes Adrian and I ever made together was a puttanesca recipe from Epicurious. We loved it because it was sooo flavorful and found that the secret ingredient to a lot of great pastas is actually anchovies! If you don't believe me, try it! The pasta won't taste like fish at all, but WILL be packed with heavenly umami flavors. 

With our early discovery, we made the same recipe about 50 times over the last 10 years. It’s now semi-retired, but we still love to cook pasta with hints of puttanesca. This recipe is similar to a degree, but is a whole lot healthier with whole grains and garden greens. 

While we still used canned tomatoes, jarred anchovies, and capers, we used Baia Pasta’s Whole Wheat Lilies instead of spaghetti, we added garden-grown arugula for added nutrition, and we packed a flavorful punch with sun-dried tomatoes and vermouth. No olives required because the sun-dried tomatoes stand in their place! Yum.

In a nutshell, this sun-dried tomato pasta is absolutely delicious! Make it and you will enjoy!

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Garden Greens

Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4-6

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced
1/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbsp capers, drained
16 oz dried campanelle pasta or Baia Pasta’s Lilies
1 cup packed fresh arugula, trimmed
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano + more for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20-30 seconds. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes and vermouth and simmer until vermouth evaporates. Add crushed tomatoes, anchovies, red pepper flakes, and capers. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce reduces, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 7-9 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

Add pasta and reserved liquid to tomato sauce and simmer over medium heat, stirring to combine, about 3 minutes. Stir in arugula until wilted. 

Divide pasta between four bowls and garnish with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you liked this pasta recipe, check out a few of my other pasta recipes for Whole Wheat Maccheroni PastaSurf & Turf Spaghetti, and Fettuccine with Guanciale!



Pierogies with Fried Sage and Butternut Squash  

Who loves pierogies? I do, I do! These pierogies with fried sage and butternut squash are delightful! They are made from scratch, so they're a little messy and take some dedication in the kitchen, which is why I'd recommend making them on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. But they are really fun to make and the process is extremely simple! 

The funny thing is that when I do “play” with flour, I often remember the stories my mom and my sisters would tell me about my twin brother and I diving into flour when we were toddlers. My brother and I knew how to get beyond the child locks in seconds, and when my mom wasn’t looking, we let the flour fly across the kitchen. I still remember doing this to some degree, but those memories are aided by a few funny pictures to document the events, which I’d love to dig up for you sometime, but not today. I suppose you could say these were some of my first foodie experiences! Regardless, being a twin was so much fun sometimes (and still is!).

Whether or not you like playing with flour for nostalgic reasons, you will enjoy making these pierogies. The butternut squash adds a little extra pizzaz than the average pierogi, which tend to have a couple simple ingredients, like sauerkraut and sour cream. I love the simple recipes too, but I really prefer to see color in every meal, which is why I also added the fried sage. 

As a serving size, I recommend about 4-5 pierogies for a reasonable portion and to serve them up with a side salad for an extra healthful touch. Salad tip: toss some greens you have on hand with sliced shallots, balsamic vinegar, a drizzling of olive oil, and crumbled queso fresco. So much yum!

Pierogis with Fried Sage and Butternut Squash  

Time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes
Serves: 4-6
Yields: About 20-25 pierogis

1 large head of cabbage, quartered, core removed
8 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups flour
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup hot water
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small bunch fresh sage leaves, stems removed
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
4 cups butternut squash, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Sour cream, to serve

Steam cabbage in a rice cooker according to rice cooker directions or in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling salted water, The pot should only be ¼ full of water. Cook cabbage until tender, about 6 minutes each side. Transfer cabbage to a plate to cool. Then squeeze out as much liquid from the cabbage as possible and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. 

While cabbage steams, heat butter in a medium skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add cheese and reserved cabbage and stir in until cheese just starts to melt. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and form a well in the center. Add egg yolks, 1 tsp salt, and sour cream into the center. With your hands, gently blend the ingredients together until just combined, adding a little water at a time. Knead the dough in the bowl (or on a lightly floured surface if desired), adding more water if necessary, until firm and smooth. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then cut in half.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough half into 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out rounds of dough with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Form remaining dough scraps into a ball and roll out again, continuing to cut out rounds. Repeat with other dough half.

Brush a bit of water around the edges of each round. Pick up a dough round and hold in one hand, spooning a bit of the filling into the center. Fold one end over the filling into a half circle and press to seal the edges, folding over edges into pleats if desired. Repeat with remaining rounds. 

Heat a pot of boiling salted water. Add about half of the pierogis and cook for 10 minutes, until the pierogis float to the surface. Set aside and repeat with remaining pierogis.

In a small skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sage and cook until crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer sage to a paper towel lined plate. 

Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots and butternut squash. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots have softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in ½ cup water and brown sugar and bring to a simmer and cook, covered, but stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. 

Add pierogis to shallots and squash with with balsamic vinegar and cook for 3 minutes, until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately on plates garnished with a dollop of sour cream and fried sage. 



Linguine with Squid, Swiss Chard, and Tomatoes

Check out this delicious recipe for Linguine with Squid, Swiss Chard, and Tomatoes! You can tell just by reading the ingredients that it’s going to taste good, right? 

Braising squid in tomato sauce is a great way to make sure it’s super tender. It’s a nice break away from pasta with sausage or other meat, especially because squid is lower in calories and fat than sausage, chicken, and especially beef!

In fact, this is the kind of pasta recipe where it’s hard to over indulge. This large plate I served here is about 475 calories and thanks in large part to the squid, is rich in B-vitamins. Win-win for a healthy weeknight dinner, right?

Linguine with Squid, Swiss Chard, and Tomatoes

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 8

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 lb swiss chard, stems removed, roughly chopped
1.5 lbs cleaned squid, cut into 12-inch rings
16 oz dry linguine
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese + more for serving

In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat oil and add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chili flakes and cook, breaking up with a spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in swiss chard until leaves wilt. Add squid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until squid is tender.

While squid simmers, boil linguine in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain.

When squid is tender, add linguine to pan with lemon juice, zest, and parmesan. Stir to incorporate linguine and sauce, about 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and chili flakes if desired. Serve on plates and garnish with additional parmesan cheese.