I've stopped accidentally marking things with "2016," which is how I know we're fully set in the new year. I'm kind of excited to see what these months have in store for us. There are lots of unknowns, of course, but unlike previous years where I felt nervous about the uncertainty of it all, I'm now going to try to approach it all a little differently. Try and go with the flow a bit more. I don't have any resolutions this year. There are the same ones that linger with me each day... read more, exercise more, travel. On that last item, I think we're going to struggle a bit with finding time to do a big trip this year as this past fall, Eric and I (along with his brother and his wife) purchased a house on the Cape. It needs a bit of love, so we'll be spending any available days working on that. With that said, the two of us are looking at doing a couple of long weekends this winter to some spots around New England. This weekend, we'll be staying in Northampton. It's a cute town, one that I really haven't spent much time in (my last real visit was in '99). In February, we're hoping to take a drive up to Portland, which has been on my list for a while. From what I've heard, has an incredible culinary scene (which is just what we want to experience when we travel). Always looking for recommendations (though we have quite the list going here), so if anyone's been, feel free to share your favorite spots.
GARLICKY PENNE WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH, BROCCOLI RABE AND CANNELLINI BEANS
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 lb broccoli rabe, trimmed and washed
1, 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained of liquid and rinsed
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 lb box of penne
Red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. In a bowl, toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread across the baking pan in a single layer. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, stirring the butternut squash every 15 minutes to allow it to cook evenly.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook penne as directed on the box, but five minutes before it is done cooking, add the broccoli rabe. When the five minutes are up, drain the pasta and broccoli rabe into a colander. Transfer to a serving bowl.
In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add beans to the pan and cook for another 30 seconds. Pour garlic, beans, and olive oil on top of the pasta and toss to coat the penne with oil. Transfer roasted butternut squash to the serving bowl, followed by the toasted almonds and red pepper flakes, and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, season with additional salt.