Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Alfredo

Spaghetti squash—what a neat vegetable! It’s low in calories, easy to make, and a nice alternative to pasta. And, if you’re like me, that whole low-in-calories thing means you can justify covering it in something like homemade alfredo sauce. The first time I had spaghetti squash, it was prepared this way, and that’s how I’ve made it ever since.

Note: although not included in my recipe below, I highly recommend using shrimp in this dish. (I meant to do so, and then smacked myself in the head when I got home from the grocery store and realized I had forgotten it.) I use around 1 lb. of 31–40 count shrimp. I also like to add mushrooms and avocado, but I don’t recommend doing so if you’re going to have leftovers, as they won’t keep very well.

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Homemade Pesto

I go through phases of condiment obsession. Years ago, I was putting Swedish mustard on and in everything. Recently, I’ve been finding a million and one uses for Greek yogurt. Somewhere in between, it was pesto. One kind of pesto, to be specific.

Buddhapesto is a small company run out of the Hudson Valley area in New York state, and they make the best pesto I’ve ever had. Which is great, if you live in NY. But it’s a little hard to come by in Vermont. So, my goal for the summer was to grow a ton of basil and make pesto until I’d perfected the recipe, or my garden was depleted.

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Ricotta & Lemon Zest Ravioli with Puréed Zucchini Sauce

It’s an exciting moment when I realize I’ve come up with a flavor combination that’s spot-on. Over the years, I’ve accepted that there are times when a dish could use something other than salt, garlic, or parmesan cheese (I know, I was shocked too). I remember making a stir-fry ages ago that called for apricot preserves and thinking, “What? Ew, no. Really?” Despite my reservations, my cooking naivety had me terrified of not following a recipe to a T, so in went the preserves. And wow! I couldn’t believe how great that stir-fry tasted, and I knew it wouldn’t have been the same without the apricot.

As of late, I’ve become pretty confident in my ability to brainstorm combinations that will make for a great dish. And owning a copy of this hasn’t hurt either. . .

I bought The Flavor Bible a few months ago, and it hasn’t made it to my bookshelf yet. I read this thing like one might read a magazine that’s lying around the house—pick it up, flip through, read whatever catches my attention. I love it! And it sure feels good to think up a taste combo, check with TFB, and have my suspicions confirmed. Case in point . . .

I made the pasta con crema di zucchine from Calabria from Scratch a couple weeks ago, and it was delicious. I’d prepared it with rigatoni the first time, but I wanted to try something more complex, with a flavor that would compliment the zucchini. Homemade ravioli was an easy choice, but what kind? After thinking about it for a few minutes, I decided that a ricotta and lemon zest filling might work well.

Let’s see what TFB has to say . . .

Confirmation in bold and BOLD CAPS? Go me! It’s settled; that’s what I’ll be making.

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