Ode to Autumn

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Pasta | 2 comments

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Fall is coming in Costa Mesa when the mammoth French Maple hovering over our patio drops its dinner plate sized leaves, now twisted brown and crunching on the concrete; no cool breeze nor whiffs of embers (unless there’s a brush fire stoked by Santa Ana Winds inland or south), only tumbling withered curled leafy notes shoved in corners, serenaded by pesky wild parrots, descendants from a couple of lost pet birds in the 70’s.

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The coconut oil solidifies in the jar; we place designer pumpkins and autumn-hued mums on our porches and maybe put a blanket on the bed. Oh my, palm to head, we fabricate.

I see myself in October Vermont (it’s a real place) wearing a cute sweater, splitting and stacking wood, tapping maple trees, and lollygagging with a pumpkin pie tweeting Christopher Kimball inside an old red-worn covered bridge.

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Summer does spoil me; cooking is merely roasting stone fruits and veggies, whisking together citrusy vinaigrette, then, assembling the caboodle with layers of fresh greens, grilled shishito peppers, maybe fresh fish and other farmers’ market or garden bounty on a clean white platter.

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So with the doors wide open,

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I counted eighteen ingredients for this Cooking Light Veggie-Packed Bolognese, including the water. Since bread, pasta, meat, and cheese are all shameful in some way—the sting was removed from the dish by allowing six ounces of 90% lean beef (not a half a pound), steered guilt-free by four ounces of whole wheat pasta, twelve ounces of spiralized squash, finally bolstered by two kinds of mushrooms and finished with a ton of vegetables and walnuts.

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A few notes before I eat crow parrot.  Take time to prep the vegetables in small dice; pulse the mushrooms and garlic in the food processor; size matters.

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The neck of the squash spiralized beautifully but was only half of the amount needed;

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So, either julienne the rest of the round bottom (where you’ve removed the seeds) or use two squash.

If you are opposed to beef (I used 8 ounces), ground turkey or chicken would work as well; or make it vegetarian by using a pound of mushrooms.  Don’t be tempted to skip the porcini; they add a rich woodsy umami.  I opted for fresh oregano and loved the floral note; it’s super strong so, scale it back to taste or go with dried oregano.

Skip the pasta; the sauce is gluten- free (bulk up the veggie noodles).  Omit the pasta and cheese; it's Whole30 compliant ( check tomato product labels for sugar).

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In my opening, I poked fun at  the random sundry ingredients.  This sauce is rich and toothsome with a surprising depth without long simmering.  It teems with versatility; like a sauce for baked pasta or pooled over grilled polenta--- Bellissimo!

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I usually don’t apologize for lousy photos—but these were hard colors to shoot once tossed at twilight without ‘people’.  Trust the online photo that accompanies the recipe 🙂

Projected Path and Intensity

In addition, my tongue in cheek look at our weather is just that.  My prayers today lie in the eye of Matthew and those in harm's way...

Photographs and text used on cococooks belong to me, Peggy Lunde unless linked otherwise.

2 Comments

  1. 10-7-2016

    Could not agree with you more. Wish I was in Vermont or maybe New Hampshire but even take Massachusetts. Your meal is very inspiring…

    • 10-8-2016

      Hi Vinnie,
      Right? I am a California native—so autumn is a storybook tale … Is your new kitchen remodel finished?
      xx

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