This valentines day, my boyfriend and I went out for a nice dinner out the night before the heart filled 14th of the month. So after indulging in Murphy’s Thursday, I tried to think of something special for us to enjoy (at home) on Valentines. For this, you will need:
1 lb bag of butternut squash pre chopped (until last night I tried to avoid purchasing the bags of precut squash, but to not deal with peeling and cutting the oddly shaped vegetable was ideal)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 bunch of asparagus
1 tsp red pepper flakes
First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss chopped butternut squash in 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Set timer for 45 minutes and begin to prepare the rest of the dish.
Next, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Then, chop your onion and garlic and add to hot pan. While those are simmering, wash and prepare asparagus for pasta. I recently learned that if you bend the base of the asparagus it will break evenly where the best part to eat is. They have to be very firm (and you end up tossing more), but I think it tastes much better this way.
Once the squash is done cooking, let it cool. Sauté the asparagus with the onions for 5-10 minutes, until tender. After squash has cooled, add to vegetable pan on the stove top. Stir. On a low heat sauté above ingredients together while you make the cheese sauce.
Cheese sauce (above):
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c grated sharp cheese (I used a gruyere cheddar mix)
2 c milk (divided)
1/4 c parmesan cheese
2-5 Tbsp flour to thicken mixture (a gf one worked just fine with this recipe)
1 Tbsp basil
Add all ingredients to medium sized pot and heat over low heat (save 1 cup of milk to add in later). Slowly bring mixture to a low boil. Allow mix to simmer and add remaining cup of milk in 1/2 c increments, whisking consistently. Add basil and continue to whisk until desired thickness. (It hadn’t quite boiled here)
If your mixture is still too thin for a pasta sauce, begin to whisk in flour in 1 Tbsp increments until you reach the consistency you like. Once mixture has thickened, combine with veggies and pasta over a low heat.
Serve (with more parmesan if you’re a cheese lover) and enjoy <3