Fall is by far my most favorite time of the year. It feels like all the energy around me is rushing to take rest for the Winter. I get lost in the transformation. So today I took a walk over lunch – to the river – to drift my many thoughts down the river.
I just wandered, with no plan. Something that doesn't happen very often anymore. And something I plan to start doing more of. It really helps one stop to notice life moving around you. At the beginning of my walk to the river, I walked with a young woman who complimented me on my hat for two blocks just chatting about the day. I studied up close, the marble enveloping a building I drive by on my way home everyday, admiring the reflected patterns. I hopped up on a fountain to watch the water pour giddily into a pool. I approached the grain belt sign with intention. And when I got to the Hennepin Avenue Bridge I climbed up too high and dangled myself till I felt alive with danger. Then I hopped down in eager anticipation of a 5 minute walk further to Surdyks which houses my favorite cheese shop.
Passing by Nicollet Island, I caught a glimpse of the hugest driftwood ever, I might go back there just to take a picture. When I approached Nye's, I was welcomed with some polka which put a swing in my step. In and out of the cheese shop, wine store and butcher shop, I was back on Hennepin moving back across the bridge. Late for a creative pow-wow & fingers creased from Smith's Nut Brown carrier - I caught glimpse of a bride and groom walking for their wedding photos. It really was a quite beautiful day for photography. I felt grateful for that.
When I got home tonight, all I wanted was something hearty and light at the same time. My B. had run out to pick up some pasta and greens, so I started on an acorn squash. I know what you're thinking, ew, squash! But I'm telling you, I never once liked squash until I lived with a Greek girl who knew how to prepare it!
Here's what happened next
Penne with Roasted Acorn Squash
1 bag of penne, gluten free or regular
1 medium acorn squash
4 Tbsp butter (or olive oil if you desire)
1 onion, diced small
4 smashed garlic cloves, minced
10 sage leaves, minced
shaved fresh parm
fresh ground pepper & sea salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Split your acorn squash from stem to bottom, and scoop out the insides. (You can clean the seeds up and make roasted squash seeds...yum) Fill the pocket in each half with a tablespoon of butter. Cover the top of each with foil and place in a oven at 400 for 30 minutes or until a fork slides in easy. When cool, cut into cubes and set aside to cool.
Take your minced onions, garlic and butter and cook over a medium heat until onions achieve a brilliant caramel tone. Add minced sage, continue to fry up the herbs a bit. Set aside.
Add noodles to your salted water, boil until al dente. Drain and slide into the onion pan and continue to cook while adding a nob of butter or olive oil (your choice). You want to get a good crust on these noodles.
When you're satisfied, pull from heat and shave parm all over the top. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Be grateful for the delicious transition of Fall.