Monday, October 25, 2010

Winter CSA Cooking: Penne with Acorn Squash, Arugula and Feta

It's easy to eat locally in the summer. Farmers' markets are open all over, farm stands are bursting with every kind of produce you can imagine. Soon, the leaves start to change and the selection, it gets smaller at your local market. The stand at your local farm, it may shutter for the season. Sure, there are winter markets but they may not be close by. Let's be honest. We're busy people, many of who between a full-time job, kids, and just trying to get dinner on the table, don't have time to drive 20 minutes to the closest winter market. I pondered this, because while my farmers' market doesn't run year-round, I still wanted to continue on the path of eating locally.

The answer, in my case, was the Winter CSA of my local farm, Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton, NH. I knew they offered one, but I also knew my husband and I wouldn't be able to cook through a full share every week, so my mom offered to pitch in for half. If you're new to the concept of CSAs, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. In other words, you pay some up from as an investment in your local farmer and every week he or she will send you a list of all the yummy fruits and veggies you're getting that week as part of your share. Our share runs from now until late March, even possibly the beginning of April. Wondering what you'll get? Here's our list from this week:

2 Tomatoes
12 ears sweet corn
3 peppers
2 lbs potatoes
2 winter squash
4 onions
2 shallots
1 garlic
6 apples
1 bunch carrots
1 kohlrabi
1 bunch kale
1 bunch hakurei salad turnips
1 bunch radishes
1 choice from: arugula, Pink Lady mustard or Osaka Purple Mustard

My mom and I split that up and we run with it. So I introduce you to a new adventure on Lighter and Local this season, Winter CSA Cooking. I hope you'll join me on my journey of a busy girl who's attempting to cook through all I might get this winter. It's a chance for all of us to learn how to eat locally and in season throughout the tougher fall, winter, and early spring months. I hope you enjoy it!

On a side note - today is also World Pasta Day. It's a celebration of the healthy side of pasta and all the yummy benefits it provides. You want more info? Click on the little logo at the right in my information bar. This recipe is my offering for World Pasta Day, using ingredients from my Winter CSA. It's fast, easy, and healthy! Enjoy!

Penne with Acorn Squash, Arugula and Feta 

Adapted from: RhodeyGirlTests
Serves 4

1 acorn squash (really you could use any winter squash)
2 cups fresh arugula
2 oz feta cheese
1/2 lb pasta
sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds and stringy portions. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place halves, flat side down, into a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Roast squash for about 30-35 minutes until fork tender. 

When the squash has about 10 minutes left to roast, cook pasta according to directions. Remove from stove when pasta is al dente, drain and set aside in a large bowl.

When squash is done roasting, carefully take halves, carefully scoop out the insides into another bowl. If you'd like to serve the pasta in the leftover squash halves, simply put them aside for use. Now add feta to the cooked squash, and finally fold in the arugula. Add pasta and toss.

Serve in squash halves or any old bowl you might have around. I promise, this one's very addicting. 
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purewellnessamy said...

This is a great, easy and local recipe! I can't wait to try it.

Amy said...

I love that this recipe is so simple, and it sounds so good! Great combination of ingredients :)!