Thursday, November 10, 2011

Butternut Squash Noodle Kugel

I should start by confessing that I have no idea what a kugel is. I may have had a taste of one off of someone else's plate once or twice in my life. (I'm pretty sure it was here, actually.) So I have no grounds for asserting that what we made tonight was in fact a kugel.

However. I roasted two butternut squashes yesterday, and no one, myself included, seemed excited about eating them. Today I wanted to use them up, but I was also hoping for something ... light? Something un-squash-like?

I was Googling for "butternut squash souffles" when "butternut squash kugel" turned up. That seemed promising ...

But beware! It turns out that "kugel" can be a synonym for "casserole." I emphatically did not want to make baked squash in a pie pan. I wanted noodles. (In retrospect, here's the kind of kugel I dream about.)

What I ended up making was something like this recipe, with double the squash, some whole milk poured around the edges before baking, lots of fresh sage and rosemary, and dried cranberries and walnuts on top instead of pecans.

What I liked about it
  1. It used up two whole butternut squashes.
  2. The big chunks of fresh sage and rosemary (from our just-moved-indoors herb garden) made the whole thing seem lighter and fresher.
  3. It had pretty colors! (Orange and green and cranberry.)
If I had it to do over, I would have
  1. Blended the squash (instead of leaving it in chunks) with some milk to make it a smoother, saucier consistency.
  2. Added some additional dairy -- cheese, cottage cheese, or cream cheese. (I was misled by some of the recipes I looked at being parve, containing neither milk nor meat).
  3. Had some egg noodles instead of plain ziti. Relatedly, checked how many eggs we had. (I put in the three we had, but that wasn't anything custardy about it.)
  4. Not burned the walnut and cranberry topping under the broiler. (The walnuts and cranberries pictured were added after the burned ones were removed.)

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