Do you ever just have a bad day for no reason? The kind of day where you really just want to come home and eat a bag of potato chips for dinner? Nothing really traumatic happened. My husband is great and helps with the laundry and did the dishes this weekend while I was out of town. My job, although not exactly mentally stimulating, still exposes me to new things and gives me a sense of accomplishment sometimes. But over the course of the day the happy little mood I woke up with went South and left me feeling like Lucy Van Pelt towards dinner time.
It was time to break out some yummy, not quite unhealthy comfort food. Butternut Squash and Orzo with Fresh Sage. This is the side dish (although really it could be a meal all by itself) that showed the Brain that squash isn't just okay, it's really really tasty.
I just happened to have a bunch of squash already peeled and cut in a Ziploc in the fridge so the hard part was done. A little sauteing of onion and garlic, mixing in some white wine (already the day starts to get better) and some chicken broth. By now I'm humming along, loving the smell of butter and wine and broth. Next in goes the squash and the smells are getting even better. As the squash cooks I bring some more broth to a boil and cook the orzo in it. Then drain the orzo, add it to the squash with some Parmesan and chopped up fresh sage. The timer on the baked chicken (we eat a lot of that) goes off and Voila! Even the dogs who are desperately trying to eat my dinner can't bother me.
And maybe today isn't so bad after all...
Butternut Squash with Orzo and Fresh Sage
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove minced
1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
4 cups low salt chicken broth divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup orzo
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash cubes and stir to coat. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and wine. Cover and simmer until squash is just tender and liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes (if necessary, uncover and simmer until excess liquid evaporates.)
Meanwhile, bring remaining 3 1/2 cups broth to boil in heavy large saucepan. Add orzo. Boil uncovered until orzo is tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain orzo if necessary.
Transfer to large bowl. Stir in squash mixture, then Parmesan and sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.