Bucatini with Delicata Squash, Spinach & Duxelles

This lovely combination of earthy mushrooms and fresh produce is both hearty and healthful!

Ingredients:
For squash:
1 Delicata squash
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons honey
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

To finish:
½ cup half & half
½ cup grated Grana-style cheese
½ bunch spinach greens, washed, patted dry and roughly torn into bite-sized pieces
1 pound bucatini pasta
Farm & Larder duxelles
4 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, such as Italian parsley and thyme

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Scrub squash well and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and attached pulp; then slice crosswise into ¾-inch thick slices.

2. In a small bowl, mix melted butter with honey. Arrange the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush each piece with the butter and honey, reserving half of the mixture. Season the squash with salt and pepper and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and turn them with tongs. Brush each piece with the remaining honey-butter mixture, season again with salt and pepper, and return to the oven, uncovered for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente, about 8 minutes, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid. During the last minute of cooking, add the spinach to blanch. Drain.

4. Combine the pasta and spinach in a large serving bowl with half & half and Grana, adding pasta cooking liquid as needed to create a loose sauce. Add the squash slices and duxelles, toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed, and top with an extra grating of Grana cheese.

Spinach & Cheese Strata

Put this week’s bread loaf to good use with this spinach-kissed breakfast strata.

Ingredients:
10 ounces spinach, washed
1½ cups finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed Pain au Levain bread
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup finely grated Grana-style cheese
2¾ cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Method:
1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add the spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain, pressing with a rubber spatula to release as much liquid as possible.
2. Cook onion in butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in spinach, then remove from heat.

3. Spread one third of bread cubes in a buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow ceramic baking dish and top evenly with one third of spinach mixture. Sprinkle with one third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice (ending with cheeses).

4. Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Chill strata, covered with plastic wrap, at least 8 hours (for bread to absorb custard).

5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Let strata stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Fall Mushroom Frittata

Packed with cherry tomatoes, spinach and Chanterelle mushrooms, this easy frittata boasts incredibly fresh flavor.

Ingredients:
8 eggs
2 cups Chanterelle mushrooms, washed
1 pint Sungold cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
4 cups spinach greens
1 Walla Walla sweet onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes, until tender but firm. Remove from skillet. Add another tablespoon oil, then add the onion, tomato and spinach. Sauté for an additional 2 to 4 minutes or until the onions are softened and garlic is fragrant. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet.

3. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and thyme with a pinch of salt and pepper. Return the mushrooms to the skillet, arranging in an even layer. Top with the vegetable mixture and then pour eggs evenly over. Drizzle olive oil around the edge of the pan to ensure easy removal.

4. Transfer to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the eggs have completely set in the center. Serve straight out of the skillet, cut into wedges, or flip onto a serving plate.

Grilled Bread with Basil Pesto

A wonderful appetizer to serve with this week’s pasta supper!

Ingredients:
2 cups basil leaves
½ cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ cup grated Grana-style cheese
½ cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
Pain au Levain bread, sliced into ¼-inch-thick pieces
Sea salt

Method:
1. In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, cheese and salt. Process until the ingredients are roughly chopped. With the processor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil until you have a chunky pesto. Set aside.

2. Heat the grill. Lightly brush each slice of bread with olive oil on both sides. Grill the slices a minute or two per side until they are crusty and have charred grill marks but are still soft in the middle. Spread each slice with a generous helping of pesto.

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