Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wheat Spaghetti with Buttnernut Squash

Saturday night meal! Thats what Im talking about!

Well Saturday was a night of wild and crazy cooking. My sweet boyfriend was in charge of dinner and I did dessert. He decided to cook with wheat berries, and after 2 hours of attempting to cook them, we gave up and made spaghetti.

Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels, so they are very rich in fiber. They are an interesting grain, but one I still have yet to try. We knew that they would take a while to cook, we just didnt know HOW long. (hint it was REALLY LONG) We had not soaked the wheat berries ahead of time in water, and they just would not cook. We tried different pots, adding more water, and in the end, the wheat berries won. I will try wheat berries again soon, and do some more research on how they cook best. One site said you can cook them for an hour and they will come out fine, but that was not our experience last night...

Luckily we did have a REALLY delicious meal, and whole wheat spaghetti made a great last minute substitution. Its very important in cooking to be persistent, but not to the point that you ruin your evening. Live and learn, and try again!

The squash and red onion are ridiculously good together, and the fresh tyhme makes this dish really memorable. The goat cheese also adds the perfect creamy texture, without overpowering the dish.
This is a GREAT elegant way to dress up ordinary pasta, use some winter vegetables, and feel very fancy.

This recipe is based on 101 Cookbook website, a beautiful healthy website, with some changes:


Serves 2, increase as needed

1/4 box of whole wheat pasta, or small handful 

1 1/2 cup butternut squash, diced into small even cubes

1 medium/small red onion cut into 1/8ths

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced 

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil 

1 tablespoon walnut oil, optional

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup goat cheese, garlic and herb preferred 

2 teaspoons sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 375. 

2. Toss squash, onion, thyme with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a few pinches of salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Put in a single layer on sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Toss the squash and onions every 5 minutes or so to get even browning on all sides. Remove when fork slides easily in squash, or taste for preference. I like my squash a bit softer, others enjoy it tougher, so the cooking time depends on how well you like your squash cooked.

3. While the squash is cooking, boil a large pot of water. Add spaghetti and cook as directed. 

4. Once both are ready toss in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of walnut oil(or olive oil). Salt to taste if desired. 

5. Serve into bowls and add goat cheese to plates individually. If you are like me, controlling your goat cheese portion could prove difficult :)

This was a great meal on its own, but a simple salad and a quality french bread would round out the meal nicely and be appropriate if you are having guests. 

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