NapSnacks is now a Newsletter!
Learn how to cook meals so manageable I make them with my toddler :)
Welcome to the FoodParty community!
Thank you for supporting me and what I do! We all know that sharing content on social media has become the default, but it is not exactly sustainable. This newsletter is the extension of that world. A Members Only Clubhouse for all of my recipes, storytelling, and other food related stuff. If you are looking for some inspiration in the kitchen, I am here to guide you. Want to know how to shop a farmers market? How I organize my kitchen? I will walk you through it. How to I turn takeout into something magical the next day? Where I buy my favorite kitchen tools and pantry goods? I’ve got you.
Starting with an autumnal smash hit if I might say so myself. This one is about winter squash! First recipe is a freebie. Enjoy! The next one will be for paid subscribers only so…
LIVE IN THE MOMENT, PEOPLE. Subscribe and let me liven up your silly little inbox each month.
Lettuce begin with a bit about me.
Zoë here. I want you to think of me as your food camp counselor. I have worked many sectors of the industry in my life, but have spent much of the last 2 years relating to food in it’s most basic form - as sustenance for myself, my husband Udi, and our 2 year old rugrat named Loosha. My culinary wisdom runs deep though, and recently with Loosha getting bigger I find it comes in handy in all sorts of ways. I may not be able to cough, sneeze, or laugh without taking extra caution these days, (motherhood truly is a dream and gift to us all!) But I can sure as hell show my kid all the magical ways food enriches our lives. Be it through the ingredients we shop for or the dishes we whip up together. If I’m already showing her what I love and feel passionately about food, why not show you too? Plus, what better motivation for you to go and cook something than to see that my 22 month old is doing it? Kidding! sort of…
Full disclosure, I won’t always give exact measurements because life is too short to go looking for your teaspoon, (which is probably lost or jammed in the back of the drawer, anyway). On the flip side, I will do my best to offer a myriad of ways to think about the food you are cooking so the How and Why can become more intuitive. Just like I tell Loosha, we will have fun, stay safe, and learn something along the way.
I have big dreams for where this all could take us, but for now I think we should start with a recipe.
5-Ingredient Winter Squash Pasta
*makes enough for 4 adults or in our house 2 adults, 1 Loosha and some for leftovers
For most of us the winter squash season has only just begun. There will come a time where seeing them at the farmers market will no longer be so delightful, I’m well aware of that. But for now, we are enticed by their variety of shapes, colors, and textures. If you have kids, let them choose the winter squash that they like from the store or stall. They are as versatile as the varieties themselves and make a huge impact when used like this recipe.
A hot tip is that you can roast the squash at any point, even days in advance and make the sauce whenever you need it, (eh-hem, naptime being a great choice).
I N G R E D I E N T S
1 winter squash - I recommend Kabocha or Butternut (you may not use all of your squash in this sauce depending on the size of it, but roasting the whole thing is highly recommended for snacking purposes)
1/2 white or yellow onion diced
2 garlic cloves chopped
a couple leaves of kale, collards, chard or other hearty green roughly chopped
1 hunk of Butter (~1 tablespoon)
Salt and Pepper
Pasta of choice
CAREFULLY cut the squash in half. Key here is: big knife, fingers tucked away. Get the knife embedded firmly and then move that hand on top of the blade to help push down. Crack it the rest of the way open with your bare hands and you will feel something deep inside.
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and do whatever you wish with them. (If you have a kid, let them do the scooping! Place a kitchen towel under the squash butt to help with the sliding and a small bowl for where to put the guts).
Slice the squash into big chunky slices and toss liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. (Again, this task is a good kid job). Roast them in very hot oven (425F) for about 20 minutes (oven depending) until easily pierced with a fork or knife. Remove and set aside. *I snack on a few pieces right away and burn the roof of my mouth, this is not suggested but just know that if you do decide to do it - you are not alone.
Boil water for pasta and generously salt it. This sauce relies heavily on a hefty amount of the pasta’s cooking water in order to get the right consistency. So my tip is go with a bigger pot than you are used to so that you end up with more cooking water to play around with.
Now for the sauce, over medium heat add a glug of olive oil and butter to a big pan and cook your onions for a couple of minutes until translucent but not browning. Add in garlic and move it around, then add in the cooked squash and break it up into chunks with a wooden spoon. I use roughly 3 cups worth of cooked squash for this recipe or 3/4 of a kabocha. I go skin on and deal with the fact that my sauce has skin. If that bugs you out, skin off is just a peel away.
When you first add the squash to the pan it will look nothing like a sauce. But trust the process, because the next step is to drop the heat a little and slowly incorporate a buttload of that extra pasta water until everything melds together in a creamy way. Start with one big ladle worth and stir to combine. The squash will absorb liquid right away. After a minute or so the pan looks dry again, add another ladle. Let it bubble away and there is very good chance you will need another ladle to really allow the chunks of squash to dissolve into the velvety texture of a creamy soup. Keep going!
Finally, toss in your kale or other greens (Loosha is always in charge of ripping the kale into pieces for me), these will cook in your sauce in a minute. Taste (blow on it!) and add more salt and pepper as desired.
Sauce is finished now and it just needs pasta. Toss to coat and don’t be afraid to throw in another splash or two of pasta water to loosen things up right at the very end.
We often eat this straight out of the pan like heathens, you do you.