It’s autumn! The season of scarves, beautiful leaves, and harvest! I thought a recipe that incorporates some fall ingredients is appropriate right about now. I was grocery shopping and came across these awesome squashes (that sounds pretty funny when you say it out loud) on sale. Spaghetti squash, butternut squash…they look so pretty piled together! I picked a small acorn squash just because it looked adorable.
Fun fact: acorn squash is rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidant compounds. A diet with a high intake of the nutrients provided by acorn squash may decrease the risk of a number of serious medical conditions.
I was very excited going into creating this pasta dish. I had the idea in my head and it turned out as well as I expected! The union of seafood, squash, cheese and coconut flavors was delicious. It makes for a great hearty dinner and I hope you try it out!
As a fair warning, this dish is relatively more laborious than the recipes that I normally share, mostly because cooking the squash takes quite awhile. However, if you are up to a challenge, you shall be rewarded! With yumminess.
Ingredients: (for baking the squash)
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients: (for the dish in general):
- 2 cups whole wheat pasta
- 1 cup of seafood mix. (I happened to have shrimps, scallops and smoked salmon in my freezer but you can easily buy a bag of frozen seafood mix. Or even better, use fresh!)
- 1 ripe tomato, diced
- handful of chopped coriander leaves
- 1 ¼ inch (3 cm) piece of ginger, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Some of the ingredients
The first thing you want to do is to cook the squash. Roasting it in the oven is the best way to go. I looked around online for an easy recipe and ended up using this one from Chow. It is super straight forward. However, the one tip that I will add is that before putting on the seasoning, score the insides of the acorn squash halves with a knife, in a crisscross pattern. This way, the squash will cook faster. The whole process will take about an hour and a half (cooking time plus cooling time). It just takes patience.
While your squash is cooking, get your prep work done!
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain pasta and let it cool.
- Before cooking your seafood, first dice them in to bite size pieces if they are too big.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat.
- Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil in the pan.
- Place your seafood pieces in the pan in an uncrowded layer.
- Depending on what seafood you have, cooking time will be different. The general guideline is to let one side sear undisturbed until it is browned and crisp, turn it around and sear the other side the same way. Shrimps and scallops should take around 2 to 4 minutes.
- Place the cooked seafood in a plate on stand by.
When your squash is finally cooked,
- Take it out of the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes
- Scoop the flesh of the squash out of its skin and dice it into chunks, about 1cm cubes.
Now all the ingredients are ready! The rest will be easy peasy.
- Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a deep pan over high heat.
- Add the ginger, garlic and tomato. Stir and cook until they are fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Turn the heat to medium-high and pour in the coconut milk.
- Add in the squash chunks, seafood and pasta, let them baste in the coconut milk.
- Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Last, add in shredded parmesan cheese and chopped coriander leaves for garnish.
- Serve immediately.
Not going to lie, by the time I finished making this dish, I was ravenous! BUT, that made the very first bite taste just even better. Cheesy, coconutty, squashy, seafoody…Okay, some of those weren’t words, but you get what I’m trying to say. So much flavor! If you are up for an adventure, give this recipe a go. Just as a last note, you don’t have to use acorn squash for this recipe. Feel free to use other types of squash or pumpkin! Explore, eat, discover!