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Impromptu Creamy Acorn Squash and Fettuccine

December 5, 2012

Image     It was one of those nights when I needed to make dinner with whatever I could find in the pantry. The Acorn Squash was calling out to me so I decided to start with that. I had some turkey bacon, dried cranberries, pecans, celery, a small block of Americana Grana, (a hard cheese, reminiscent of Parmesan Reggiano, though there is really no substitute in my mind) and a box of Fettuccine.  So I cut the squash in half, removed the seeds and roasted both halves, cut side down, for 35 minutes at 400°F, in a preheated oven. While the squash roasted, I put a pot of water on to boil for the Fettuccine and cooked 5 slices of turkey bacon until crispy, then placed them on a paper towel. I added two tablespoons of butter to the bacon pan, then added a medium onion and a stalk of celery, both diced small. As they softened and started to become translucent, I added a half cup of whole pecans and a quarter cup of dried cranberries. I stirred the mix often, adding a half teaspoon of dried Rosemary that I crushed between my fingers and some garlic powder. I also added the Fettuccine to the boiling pot of water along the way and cooked it according to the package directions. Once the onions and celery were soft and completely translucent, I turned off the burner. When the squash was done, with the flesh very soft, I removed it from the skin and put it into the pan with the other ingredients, adding a couple of tablespoons of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup of skim milk, salt, pepper and some of the pasta water. (I turned the heat back on, by the way.) I stirred until the mixture turned into a thick creamy “sauce.” I added more salt and pepper to taste. I put the Fettuccine into individual serving bowls, topped with the Acorn Squash sauce and then put a handful of grated cheese on top. Finally, I drizzled some balsamic cream, an Earthy Delights product that I recently decided to try, and voila! Dinner was served. I would add more turkey or other bacon next time, but otherwise, I was very happy with how my “impromptu” kitchen creation turned out. 

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