Butternut Squash and Orzo with Fresh Sage

Oct 14th

Butternut Squash is the sort of thing many people like, but don’t attempt to make at home. I included a bunch of pictures of the preparation involved, because it’s really not difficult. This time of year these squash are plentiful and CHEAP and can usually be found locally sourced.

If you haven’t had it before, butternut squash tastes like a cross between pumpkin and sweet potato. Once cubed, you can roast in a 425 degree oven until browned and crunchy, and toss with salt and maple syrup (it lends itself to sweet very well). Today we are going to chop and steam this baby and go the salty route with fresh sage and parmesan. I love side dishes that involve grains and veggies, because all you have to do is grill up some chicken/pork/shrimp/fish/beef for a totally presentable and nutritionally complete meal! This came together very quickly and would work for week nights but ALSO for company. It could even be a great thanksgiving option!

The only protein in this dish is the parm. cheese; if you wanted to create a meal in and of itself I would swap quinoa for the orzo. Orzo is just a small, diamond shaped pasta; nutritionally it is as good for you as pasta is. Quinoa is one of the only plant sources (besides soy) that contains complete protein (about 9 grams per serving), so it would be an easy swap.

Butternut Squash and Orzo with Fresh Sage

Adapted from Bon Appetit

serves 4

2 tbsp. butter

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1 in. cubes (about 4 cups worth)

1/2 tsp. salt

4 c. chicken broth, divided

1 c. orzo

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (ideally freshly grated)

3 tbsp. chopped fresh sage

Salt and pepper to taste

How to prep your squash:

cut off ends

Peel it well; may have to peel through layers till you get to the nice colorful flesh inside.

Cut in half vertically and scoop out seeds

Slice and dice!

1. Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and saute about 6 minutes (or until soft).

2. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Add squash and stir to coat.

4. Add 1/2 c. chicken broth and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and simmer until squash is just tender (taste a piece) and liquid is absorbed- about 10 minutes. If after ten minutes the liquid is not absorbed, simmer with the lid off until the excess liquid evaporates.


5. Meanwhile, bring the rest of the chicken broth (3 1/2 c.) to boil in a saucepan. Add orzo. Boil uncovered until orzo is tender but still slightly al dente (al dente means “to the tooth” in Italian—there should be a slight firmness at the center of the pasta).

6. Drain orzo if necessary and add to the squash mixture.

7. Stir in the parmesan and sage.

8. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topped with more parmesan if desired.

This dish had that savory sweet thing going on and was completely addicting.

Butternut Squash and Orzo with Fresh Sage

Adapted from Bon Appetit

serves 4

2 tbsp. butter

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1 in. cubes (about 4 cups worth)

1/2 tsp. salt

4 c. chicken broth, divided

1 c. orzo

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (ideally freshly grated)

3 tbsp. chopped fresh sage

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and saute about 6 minutes (or until soft).

2. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Add squash and stir to coat.

4. Add 1/2 c. chicken broth and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and simmer until squash is just tender (taste a piece) and liquid is absorbed- about 10 minutes. If after ten minutes the liquid is not absorbed, simmer with the lid off until the excess liquid evaporates.

5. Meanwhile, bring the rest of the chicken broth (3 1/2 c.) to boil in a saucepan. Add orzo. Boil uncovered until orzo is tender but still slightly al dente (al dente means “to the tooth” in Italian—there should be a slight firmness at the center of the pasta).

6. Drain orzo if necessary, and add to the squash mixture.

7. Stir in the parmesan and sage.

8. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topped with more parmesan if desired.

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