Friday, November 12, 2010

Work, work and little play... Pasta with butternut squash, kelemata olives and feta

It is that time of the year again.

...3Q10 revenues were higher than expected...the bottom line fell -3.5% QoQ, below our and consensus' loss provisions increased vs. FY09 and are expected to continue growing in 4Q10e...prices bottomed out...

...bottom schmottom...

Yup, quarterly results. Quarterly results of the gazillion companies listed on the Stock Market that all announce their results in the same few days.

Needless to say, things are crazy here at the office. Stress levels are high, our schedules have shifted into overdrive and by the time I get home (after two pit stops to pick up my kids from day care/kindergarden) I have a vacant stare, I see double and my brain isn't functioning very well.

Cooking is the perfect thing to do to relax and shake it all off. To let my mind rest while my hands fall into a well-known routine of chop-chop-chop and mix-mix-mix, the famililar rhythm numbing my mind.

Except...when I open my fridge it is empty. So empty that the milk echoes as it splashes around in its carton when I swing open the door. I can almost see tumbleweed rolling across my kitchen floor. Who's had time to go to the supermarket this past week?

Luckily, however bad things get, there is always some pasta in the house and thank goodness for canned/preserved/frozen/pickled foods and vegetables with a longer shelf life than baby spinach.

Feta cheese and olives are pretty much a staple in our house. This time the latter happened to be Kelemata, which I adore, so I could almost say this was a Greek inspired pasta. Last, but certainly not least, some friends brought me a butternut squash the other day from their family's garden. I know this is not an exceptional event in your lives, but it is in ours. We don't see a lot of butternut squash around here and I have been craving it, to say the least, after seeing about a million recipes posted  for it in the blogsphere.

There are literally 4 ingredients in this dish, excluding condiments, and no recipe. It is a vibrant, nutritious, tasty dish, the saltiness of the olives and cheese contrasting perfectly with the sweetness of the squash. I promise this will get your taste buds working.

It is a family pleaser but it is also perfect to make for those friends dropping by last minute with a bottle of wine. Then again it is Friday and you may just want to sit back on your couch, snuggling under a warm blanket, to watch a movie with a bowl in your lap and a fork in your hands (sorry Mom!).

butternut squash
feta cheese
Kelemata or any black olives
brown sugar*
maple syrup*

*I forgot to list these two ingredients on Friday (now it is Monday). This only goes to show how burnt out I was.

I did not give measurements because you can play around with them according to your taste and the amount of people you are prepping for. Preheat your oven to 220/250°C.The first step is roasting the butternut squash. You can cut it in half and roast it directly or you can peel it, deseed it (don't throw them away, you can roast them just like pumpkin seeds!) and cut it into cubes, coating it with a little salt, pepper, oil, brown sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup and cinnamon. I did it this way to get it a little more caramelized.  In the meantime start boiling a pot of water for your pasta and crumble the feta into a bowl, adding the olives. When the squash is soft and caramelized, add it into the bowl, mixing well. Drain your pasta and mix in, adding some olive oil if needed. You could also puree the squash, mix it with the pasta, then add the olives and crumble the feta on top. Drizzle over a little more oil, pepper and salt (taste before doing this as the olives and feta are already pretty salty) and dig in.


 Hope you all have a great week end!


  1. This is a beautiful comforting dish! We always have olives and feta in the house too - also goat cheese and parmesan!

    Hope things slow down at work. I don't miss the stress of work but think I need a job....

    Have a great weekend too :)

  2. Looks like a wonderful dish to me!
    Have a great relaxing weekend.

  3. This pasta dish sounds absolutely comforting! Love all of the ingredients put into this!

  4. May have to try this tonight. I'm not in the mood to get complicated and this seems just right. :)

  5. ..oops...I've received your mail but I think you have the wrong e.mail aaddress..The contest of soup is Lucy's blog
    But if you participate to my contest, a gluten free menu, I will be very veru very happy!!
    and this pasta is delicious

  6. What a feast for the eyes.
    Surely a delicacy on the lips too.

  7. You know, sometimes nothing fixes the world like a nice bowl of pasta :D.
    *kisses* HH

  8. ok, next time you come over, YOU'RE COOKING!!!

  9. Work work and little play...sounds like me right now. I'm just so swamped with school work!! My fridge is never empty though...the ironic thing is that no matter how busy I am, my first priority is stocking up on food...I'm such a glutton, no?

    The dish looks wonderful though!

  10. D,W&D - Yeah, they are great staples to have in the house.
    My K in the R - Simple but satisfying.
    Dinetonite - thanks!
    Peggy - Hey, I actually forgot a couple of ingredients I used to roast the squash. That goes to show how burned out I was on Friday. Adding them now.
    Anonymous - If you can't be bothered with cooking, this is the dish to make.
    Glu.fri - Sorry, I read your comment about the constes on another blog and must have gotten confused. I will check yours out now. That is probably why I had trouble commenting. Anyhow, enjoyed your blog.
    Alcira - thanks for dropping by, glad you liked.
    HH - absolutely!
    Moomser - the lasagna you made the other day were pretty darn delicious - and I adored the salad from your garden.
    Sophia - you sound like you are always overworking - I admire you. I love having a stocked up house, it is a great feeling, very cozy, no?

  11. I can vouch that this is a wonderful pasta dish! Having made a similar one recently, I just will enjoy adding olives next time for some savory taste as well as sweetness from the squash!

  12. I loved the idea of pecans in yours! Adds so much to texture and flavor.


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