Still inspired by the flavors of fall, despite the rise in temperatures again, I decided to pick up some squash at the Town and Country Farmer’s market last Wednesday.

I love finding new ways to use squash, and after a request to incorporate penne pasta, here’s what I came up with.

By the way, if you’re looking for something to do with all the seeds from your squash, check out Eliza Domestica’s recipe for roasted winter squash seeds here.

Here’s the fruit of my efforts from last week’s market selection:

Penne with Roasted Acorn Squash, Vidalia Onions and Chile Rubbed Pork Chops

1 lb whole-wheat penne pasta

1 large Vidalia onion

1 acorn squash

3 1-inch-thick pork chops

salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp olive oil

¼ c parmesan cheese

For the pork chops:

2 tsp ancho chile powder

1 tsp chipotle chile powder

1 tsp garlic powder

3 tsp brown sugar

½ tsp salt

Combine spice mixture and rub on pork chops. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour up to overnight.

Cut the acorn squash in half and then into slices, lengthwise, and cut the onion into wedges.

Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast the squash and onion at 375 for 20 minutes. The pork chops can go in the oven at the same time, but roast them for 20-35 minutes, or until they’re no longer pink in the center.

Allow the pork chops to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing to retain juices.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions.

After the squash and onions have cooked and slightly cooled, remove the skin from the squash and dice. Toss squash and onions with pasta. You can either dice the pork chops and toss with the pasta, squash and onions, or place on top.

Top each dish with some of the parmesan cheese.

Serves 3-4.

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Fall is in the air!

The cooler temperatures this week definitely inspired this post.  I wanted to find a way to incorporate a lot of the wonderful fall flavors in-season produce has to offer, and while browsing Epicurious, I stumbled upon this gem of a dish: Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Leeks and Corn.

This definitely fit the bill.  The squash is roasted to bring out its rich, nutty flavor, and the rice worked well to bring all of the vegetables together.

Not only would this make a wonderful side dish, it would also be great solo, especially if you subbed the wild rice for quinoa.

I love being able to take advantage of the Downtown Phoenix Market. Being in school just a block away has been such a great convenience! The produce is always awesome, but it doesn’t stop there—there are other vendors selling fresh bread, tamales, coffee, even ice cream. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it.

Last night, while shopping at the market, I was inspired by the wonderful fresh squash and eggplant at one of the stands. While plans are in the works for the eggplant (look for them in an upcoming post) Here’s one of my favorite ways to prepare squash.

Calabacitas con Queso

This can be served as a side dish, leaving out the chicken.

  • 2 large chicken breasts,
  • 2 large yellow squash
  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ cup cream
  • olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin

Cook the onions in the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cubed chicken breast and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Add in the squash, chilies, cumin, salt and pepper and cook until squash reduces in size and is tender. When squash is fork-tender, add in the cheese and cream and stir. The dish will be slightly runny—you can allow it to sit in the skillet uncovered for a few minutes to slightly thicken, if desired.

Gorgeous produce at Phoenix Public Market.

Farm fresh!

The final product. Yum!