This is Amy + Michelle

This is Amy + Michelle

This A.M.

Amy and Michelle became instant friends because of the common interests they share in their love of fashion, food, music and traveling. In This A.M. Amy and Michelle will share recipes, thoughts on eats, their unique fashion style and lifestyles from Toronto to Tampa...... 1,098 miles apart!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Butternut Bolognese

This A.M. I present to you an unconventional way to enjoy one of Autumn's flavors. Being Italian, bolognese, Italian meat based sauce, is a dinner staple in my house. Yesterday I couldn't decide what to make for dinner. I was considering making my bolognese but, I kept thinking I ought to cook the butternut squash I bought at the farmer's market. Then it hit me... make my meat sauce, but with a butternut squash base instead of a tomato base. It came out fabulous! The texture was nearly identical, with the taste being a little sweeter and slightly more complex. And, turns out, when you compare canned tomatoes to butternut squash, the calories, fat and sugar are nearly identical but the vitamin content in the squash is significantly higher while the sodium is much lower than the tomatoes. Not that I pay particular attention to that sort of thing. Just thought others may want to know ;)

Butternut Squash Bolognese

1  lb ground beef
1  lb ground Italian sausage
1/2 lb pancetta, finely diced
garlic salt
dash of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1 large butternut squash
1 1/2  cups carrot, finely chopped
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon dry oregano

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, dash of nutmeg
several sprigs of fresh thyme

For the end:
fresh basil

Cut squash in half, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 350 for one hour face down. Allow to cool a bit before removing the seeds. Scoop out squash and set aside. Season meat with a dash of garlic salt. In a large frying pan saute pancetta until crispy, remove and set side. Brown meat in pancetta pan, drain about half the pan juices and discard. Set meat and remaining juices aside.  

Heat a little olive oil in a large stock pot on medium high heat. Saute pureed veggies for about 5 minutes, add wine and cook about 4 more minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture, stir. Next add veggie stock, roasted butternut squash, spices, sugar, salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally, allow to come to a boil, once boiling, stir in reserved meat, reduce the heat and allow to simmer at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours for richer flavor, stirring about every half hour. Just before enjoying, stir in chopped fresh basil and taste test to see if you need a little more salt.

Serve with your favorite pasta! I recommend Penne or Rigatoni because they really pick up the chunky meat sauce well.

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