Brrr it feels like winter over here!! It's been cold and chilly and rainy over here the past few days, which makes taking our dog out a few times per day a little more difficult. Every single puddle or patch of mud calls Sibbie's name, and she simply has to walk through it, despite my authoritative tone which I'm guessing goes in one ear and out the other, lol. Basically, we have gone through a few towels trying to dry her off before coming in to the apartment. This husky definitely loves the colder weather though, and that makes me happy!
Besides the noticeable drop in temperature, there is now a lights show at the shops right outside our apartment that plays every hour, on the hour, from 6pm - 9pm. I have heard Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas, more times than I can count. I'm not complaining too much though, because I love this time of year and all the festivity that surrounds it. Did I mention already the two huge 30 (ish) ft. tall Christmas trees right outside our apartment as well! It's almost like the Rockefeller tree in NYC, except...not!
We took it very seriously that our apartment is a corner apartment set right at the street intersection, with a large sliding window/door. Kyle wrapped lights around the window, and we placed our Christmas tree front and center. I love walking Sibbie at night and looking up and seeing all the lights in our apartment! It's magical.
You know what else is magical? All of the cozy comfort foods this time of year. I love making hearty baked pasta dishes; lasagna, ziti, stuffed shells. They are all welcome in my home and stomach any time of the year. I wanted to try something a little different (i.e. no red sauce), and am always looking for ways to use squash when they are in season. This baked pasta dish also has ricotta, goat cheese, and my new favorite herb, sage! If you want to be extra naughty you could fry a few sage leaves in butter or olive oil as a garnish. This also pairs perfect with a glass of wine, sweatpants, your couch, and a Christmas movie.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage, and Cheesy Pasta Bake
- 1 lb. farfalle pasta
- 1 lb. butternut squash, cubed
- 2-3 sprigs fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 lb. chicken breast
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 3-4 tbl. olive oil
- 2 tbl. milk
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Directions: Preheat oven to 400° F. Place butternut squash on a medium sized baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle half of the chopped sage leaves on top. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot with boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbl. of olive oil and cook chicken until juices run clear, about 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken to a cutting board, and dice into cubes. In the same skillet, add more olive oil, and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is clear.
Lower oven heat to 350° F. In a large casserole dish, combine cooked pasta, chicken, onion, garlic, and butternut squash/sage mixture. Dollop in spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese, crumbled goat cheese, and the rest of the fresh sage. Mix in 1 tbl. of olive oil and the milk, and stir everything together in the dish, spreading evenly. Top with breadcrumbs.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Serve!