Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta

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With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, I’m seeing a lot of discussion on whether or not  diet, low-carb, or low-fat foods belong at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Really, it’s not so much of a discussion, because the general consensus seems to be that it’s one day a year dedicated to food (mostly), so might as well live it up. I tend to agree that for the most part, barring any serious health requirements of course, Thanksgiving fare should be the real deal. Go ahead and add in that heavy cream without guilt. Just don’t tell your cardiologist that lolfoodie told you to.

So, what about the rest of the week? Of course you’ll have leftovers AFTER the big meal, but what to eat before? To me, lighter options seem ideal and will make the indulgence in a Thanksgiving feast that much more special.

That’s where this recipe comes in. It has wonderful flavors of fall and winter with seasonal vegetables and fresh sage, braised in vegetable stock and white wine. A perfect prelude to Thanksgiving dinner, if you ask me.

Check out EatingWell for the original recipe.

To make 4 main course servings, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh sage (or 2 tsp dried, if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) whole-wheat pasta
  • 2 cups cauliflower, chopped or torn into bite-size florets
  • 2 cups butternut squash, chopped into bite-size cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 12 ounces frozen lima beans

Begin by heating the oil in a Dutch oven (if you have one) or stock pot. Once it’s hot, add the onions, garlic, and sage (if you’re using fresh sage). Saute over medium until softened, 4 minutes.

Add in the vegetable broth and wine. Bring to a boil over medium-high.

Side note/pic for how I peeled and chopped the butternut squash. It can be hard to work with if you don’t have a very sharp knife. I use this 8″ chef’s knife and have been recommending it to everyone I know who needs a good all-purpose knife.

Anyway. Cut off the top and slice the butternut squash in half into two cylinders, as shown.  I stored the left half for later and only peeled the right half, because once peeled and chopped, it was almost exactly 2 cups. Steady the cylinder on your cutting board, and peel from top to bottom with your knife. From there, you can pretty much cube it like a potato.

Add the cauliflower, squash, salt, pepper, coriander, (and sage, if you are using dried). Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes.

Add the lima beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until everything is tender and most of the liquid has absorbed.

I made the full 4 servings and stored the rest in the fridge. It makes for great leftovers! Truthfully, it probably makes closer to 5 servings. No complaints here, though.

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