Tag Archives: Fresh

Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots

Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Herb Chicken and Roots
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This recipe is deliciously simple and sadly boring. It is gluten free, clean, Paleo etc.. It’s healthy and passes almost any diet tests. Roasting fresh food is just delicious. It just concentrates flavors while creating great textures from crunchy to pillow soft. Everything on the plate was 100 natural and either raised or grown without chemicals or additives. I added Zucchini but didn’t like it as well as the carrots and potatoes. Just preference.

Ingredients:
2 air chilled chicken breasts
Several Carrots
1 zucchini
handful of potatoes
Fresh rosemary and Thyme minced
juice of a lemon

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and on a sheet tray add your washed and prepped carrots, potatoes and zucchini.
Squeeze the lemon juice over everything. A few glugs of olive oil (optional). Top with minced herbs, Kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
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Asian Chicken Noodle Kale Salad

Asian Chicken Noodle Kale

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Chicken Noodle Kale Salad
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We were watching Ree, the Pioneer Woman, the other day and her show was about using foods that represented the colors of summer. We hear all the time that foods that are colorful have more health benefits. Of course Kale makes an appearance because it is “such the thing to eat these days”. Truth be told I love collard and mustard greens more than Kale. I find it tough and too chewy so I cut it finely and use it as a supporting character vs the lead of my dishes. Maybe it’s a bit mental too, because the Kale zealots can really be annoying and I tend to have allergies towards people who take a food too far.

I took Ree’s idea and recipe and used it as my foundation. I marinated two chicken breasts overnight in soy and rice wine vinegar. The next day I hammered the to a consistent thickness and grilled them outside until done. I let them rest and sliced thinly and included them on the side of my salad.

Red Cabbage, carrots and Kale have a lot of structure but I found that the “dressing” mellows the stark rawness The flavors were terrific with blends of soy, Sriracha, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce and hints of fish sauce and sesame oil. Really a nice healthy salad that can easily be converted to Paleo, Clean, Whole30 etc..

Ingredients:
2 free range chicken breasts
3 tbs of GF Soy
3 tbs of Rice Wine Vinegar

Salad
Pre-packaged Kale salad
1 small head of shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup of pre-shredded carrots
1 red pepper sliced thinly
Angel Hair Pasta for two (cooked and cooled)
handful of peanuts rough chopped
4 green onions (minced)
Handful of Cilantro (rough chopped)

Dressing
1/4 cup of Hoisin Sauce
1/3 cup of GF Soy Sauce
1/4 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tbs of Sriracha Sauce
1 tsp of Fish Sauce
2 tsp of Sesame Oil
1 tsp of Chili oil
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of Olive Oil
2 tbs of Brown Sugar
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tbs of ginger minced

Directions
1. Marinate your chicken at least 3 hours and up to overnight in soy and rice wine vinegar.

2. Get your grill fired up to about 350-400 degrees. Put your chicken on the grill and while it is cooking get to chopping your veggies and dressing. IMG_0369

3. Make your dressing by mincing your garlic and ginger and then add the rest. Whisk it violently until it is well combined. Put it in the fridge and chop your veggies.

4. Boil your angel hair pasta (or any noodle you prefer) to package directions. When done, strain them and run cool water over them to cool them off.

5. So now you have your chicken chopped, your veggies chopped and in a large bowl, your dressing ready, your noodles ready and your rough chopped peanuts. Pour half the dressing into the veggies and toss them until well coated. Slowly stir in your cooked noodles. Taste it and dress accordingly (you can always add more dressing but you can’t undress and overdressed salad) I put a little dressing on my grilled chopped chicken and served it on the side of my salad so that I could control my protein/veggie bites.
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Grilled Chicken and Corn Quesadillas with Pesto Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Grilled Chicken and Corn Quesadillas with Pesto Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Grilled Chicken and Corn Quesadillas with Pesto Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
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Recently I saw a recipe for Chicken, corn and caramelized onion quesadillas. So I was thinking about it while at the grocery store when I saw their fresh corn. I didn’t want to spend the time caramelizing the onions so I went with fresh green onions. I decided to also make a pesto dipping sauce with avocado, sour cream, lime juice and pesto. Tangy, herbaceous and creamy.

The grilled chicken and corn gave the quesadilla a sweet and savory combo. I also used a mix of Monterrey Jack cheese because it melts so well but to bump up the tang I sprinkled in some goat cheese.

We loved how these turned out. Crunch outside with creamy chicken, corn, onion, cilantro swimming in melted cheeses. The dipping sauce was tangy with the lime juice but complimented the cilantro with the pesto. This would be great for a party or gathering and would also make a filling appetizer or a meal. It’s a great way to amplify your typical cheese and chicken quesadilla.

Ingredients

4 flour tortillas
2 chicken breasts
2 green onions
handful of cilantro
1.5 cup of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 tbs of goat cheese
Penzey’s Fajita Seasoning

Sauce
1/4 quarter cup of sour cream
Juice of 1 small lime
1 tbs of green pesto (store bought)
1 avocado
Dash of cayenne


Directions:

1. Make your sauce by combining everything in a bowl and mash the avocado until smooth. Mix, taste and adjust accordingly. Put in the fridge until ready to serve. IMG_0358

2. Fire up your grill and let it get to about 375 or 400 degrees. While your grill is heating up, take your chicken breasts and trim them. Then cover in plastic wrap and pound them until they are consistently the same thickness. This makes for even grilling. I dusted them with Kosher salt and Penzey’s Fajita seasoning. Now put your corn and chicken on the grill. Close it and walk away for about 6 minutes. Rotate corn and flip chicken when you get nice marks on it. When done bring in to rest.

3. While my chicken and corn were resting, I cut my green onions and cilantro and shredded the Monterrey Jack cheese. So now all I need to do is cut the corn and chicken and assemble.

4. Now for the assembly. Mont Jack and onions down and then the chicken.
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Add cilantro, corn and goat cheese.
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4. Heat a non stick pan large enough to cook your tortilla. Put a little butter down on medium heat and put your base down and top it with the second tortilla. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until the cheese melts and you get a nice crunch on your tortilla. Butter, flip and do the second side. Cut and serve with your sauce.
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Tex-Mex Sopa de Pollo con Verduras

Tex-Mex Sopa de Pollo con Verduras

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mexican Soups or sopas are soul warming with all those flavors of spicy and salty broth with pops of peppers, cilantro, cumin, chilies. This time of year is just so great for fresh vegetables and fruits. Tonight I wanted to make a veggie packed dish that contained as many fresh veggies that I could force into the pot as possible.

When I do soups I seldom measure anything instead it’s a taste and add process. So I will do my best to remember how much of the spices I used.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts (diced small)
1 onion (diced)
3 carrots (diced)
2 zucchini (diced)
2 jalapenos (roasted, seeded, diced)
2 Serrano peppers (roasted, seeded, diced)
1 bunch of cilantro
4 cloves of garlic minced
4 tomatoes diced
1 avocado
1 lime
1-2 tbs of cumin
1-2 tbs of ancho chilli
1 tbs of taco seasoning
2 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tbs of ghee
1 carton of chicken broth
1 beer

Directions:
1. Super easy but a lot of chopping. I put the onion and ghee in a medium pan and cooked until lightly browned. I added the carrots, chicken and spices and stirred until chicken was mostly done. While that was cooking I light my gas burner and put the corn and peppers on it to char.

2. Everything but the zucchini, avocado and cilantro go into the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and added the cilantro and zucchini and stirred them for another 10 minutes or so. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. I serve it over chips and top with cheddar, cilantro and avocado.

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Baja Fish Tacos with Chipotle Adobo Crema and Roasted Corn Salad

Baja Fish Tacos with Adobo Crema

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Baja Fish Tacos with Adobe Crema
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When I think of fish tacos I can’t help but think of my sister and her family living in San Diego. Such great memories of going to the beach with the kids, hanging out all day under the sun and wrapping up the day by watching the sunset on the porch of a little mexican food joint atop one of the cliffs. While enjoying the transition to those cool nights, we would throw on a sweatshirt and enjoy some mexican food, margaritas, beer while laughing at various family stories.

Jill who isn’t a fish monger unless it’s a lobster roll or a crab cake actually took to fish tacos. I know many of the Baja tacos are fried but I made mine on a griddle. I wanted to the fish to shine and also wanted to make a nice pink sauce that combined chipoltes in adobo, sour cream, cilantro and some lime juice.

You have fresh fish with smokey spicy seasoning, the sweetness from the corn tortillas, the creamy spicy smokey sauce and for the acid and crunch from the sweet vinegar cabbage slaw. As a side dish I made a roasted corn salad with fresh jalapenos, red peppers, jicama, black beans mixed with a little of the chipotle adobo sauce and lime juice. Roasted corn is so cheap and delicious this time of year it’s hard not to put a few ears in the basket every trip to the market.

Ingredients
1 lbs of fresh tilapia
corn tortillas

Dry Rub
1 tbs Tajin seasoning
2 tsp Ancho Chili powder
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Chipotle Adobo Crema
1 cup sour cream
handful of cilantro
juice of 1 lime
2 chipoltes in adobo
3 tbs of the adobo sauce
Salt to taste
you can thin it with milk or cream if it needs it

Slaw
packaged cabbage slaw (half a bag)
1 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of white vinegar
juice of one lime
Kosher salt

Roasted Corn Salad

5 ears of fresh corn
2 fresh jalapenos
1 red pepper
1 can of organic black beans
diced jicama
3 tsp Tajin seasoning
2-3 tbs Adobo crema

Directions
This recipe is really easy but has a few steps. From a timing perspective let’s start with Corn salad.
1. 5 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned rubbed with some olive oil and some Tajin seasoning. Roast for about 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven. While the corn is roasting, fine dice your jalapeno, jicama and red pepper and add them to a large bowl. Rinse your canned black beans and also add to the bowl. When the corn is done, let it cool and cut off the kernels and add them to the bowl. Set aside until ready to serve. When time to serve, add the adobo crema and some Tajin seasoning. Taste and adjust accordingly. IMG_0123

2. For the crema. I added 1 cup of sour cream in a blender with the juice of one lime. I also added two chipoltes and about 2 or 3 tbs of the adobo sauce. I pinched a handful of cilantro and blended until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.

3. Slaw – Add vinegar and sugar to a mixing bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cabbage slaw and squeeze half a lime’s juices. Taste and adjust accordingly

4. Take your dry rubbed fish and put it in a heated non stick pan on medium heat. Fish cooks quickly so it takes about 3-4 mins on each side. Remove the fish to rest, clean the surface and heat your tortillas for about 1 minute.
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To serve, put some of the slaw on the tortilla and then your fish pieces with the crema on top.
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Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells
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Tonight was pasta night and I was thinking stuffed shells. It eats like a less cheesy and rich lasagna. You can control your cheese, meat, spinach ratio. I have made this several times and don’t really have a recipe for it but rather make it up each time.

Italian sausage is good but sometimes a little over powering. I found a lighter version that was lighter on fat and spice. I wanted to bump up the spinach ratio while lowering the cheese mixture. Jill was held up at work so I had to cook it a little longer than I wanted. I used my biggest cast iron skillet to accommodate all the shells but by doing so I left some shells exposed. Just be careful because you will harden up the exposed noodle part. I like the chew it gives them but you may not.

Really delicious meal that lets the pasta, Italian sausage and spinach shine through with the sauce nicely tying it all together.

Ingredients
3/4 package of Jumbo pasta shells
1 package (1 lbs) of light Italian Sausage (casing removed)
1 jar of Tomato Sauce
Parsley
1 bag of spinach
4 cloves of garlic
handful of fresh cut basil
Parmesan Cheese
Mozzarella cheese
1 container of Ricotta
1 small onion

Directions:
1. Boil your pasta in salted water according to the directions on the box. Drain and rinse with cool water so you can handle them as you stuff them.

2. Make your stuffing. Brown your pork sausage and remove the rendered fat. Add your onion, spinach and two cloves of minced garlic. The spinach has a lot of water so when everything is soft and wilted, remove as much of it as you can. Pour into a bowl and let it cool. IMG_0028

3. When the meat spinach mixture is warm add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and your ricotta cheese. Mix well and taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly. You shouldn’t need extra salt with the sausage and parm but taste it to make certain.

4. I used the same cast iron skillet after I removed the meat mixture. I added a jar of marinara sauce. To that sauce I added 2 cloves of minced garlic and tomato paste and crushed red peppers. Brought it to a simmer and then added my basil. I turned it to low while I stuffed my shells.

5. Stuff your shells and put them into the sauce face up. I liked to add a some mozzarella or parm on the top and finish them in an oven around 375 degrees until the cheese melts. Like I mentioned above mine when a little longer because Jill was running late. IMG_0025IMG_0026
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6. Serve in a bowl with some sauce added.
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Asian Steak Salad with Siracha Honey Lime Dressing and Blue Cheese

Asian Steak Salad with Sriracha Honey Lime Dressing and Blue Cheese

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Asian Steak Salad with Sriracha Honey Lime Dressing and Blue Cheese
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I first found the base of the recipe from the cookbook “Guy Gourmet”. It’s a really great cookbook for the fellas. It’s based upon the Men’s Health magazine coverage of one of kind foods, cooking and nutrition. Adoma Steinmen and Paul Kita are the two that put it together with the editors of Men’s Health. The 150 healthy recipes are from various star chefs like Rick Bayless, Thomas Keller, Tyler Florence and Morimoto to name a few. Valentines day gift for your dude chefs perhaps?

This Asian steak salad recipe has a wonderful flavorful from the simple dressing. The freshness of the lime paired with the saltiness of the soy and the pop of heat and sweet from the Sriracha and honey is a harmonious flavor bomb. It’s just great. You can use what ever veggies wet your whistle. I omitted cucumber and avocado simply because I didn’t have them on hand.

The steak is a great choice over the typical chicken used in most salads. Cooking the steak medium rare gives you a buttery and tender bite that just works splendidly with the salad dressing. I added blue cheese because I think it works so well with steak despite the Asian flavors of soy and Sriracha. Goat cheese would also be nice.

At the end of the day, the dressing is the star of this show so you can alter the supporting cast to your tastes and preferences.

Ingredients:
Dressing
1 lime juiced
1 tbs of Soy Sauce
1 tbs of Sriracha
1 tbs of Local Honey
Black Pepper

Grass Fed Beef (flank, or any cut works)
Blue Cheese
Walnuts (toasted and tossed in honey)
Arugula
Green leaf lettuce
Cilantro
Cut spinach
Cherry tomatoes
Red onion (diced)
Carrots
Purple cabbage
Cucumber

Directions:
1. Mix your dressing by juicing a lime and adding Sriracha, Honey and Soy and whisk until combined. Set aside.
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2. Marinate your steak with a a few glugs of soy and some oil. About 30 mins to 4 hours.

3. Cut all your veggies and combine in a big bowl with the lettuce.

4. In medium heated cast iron skillet add your walnuts and toast them up. Once toasted pour those hot nuts in a bowl with honey. Mix it around to coat. The heat will loosen up the honey and coat it nicely. Set aside.
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5. Return the cast iron skillet back to the heat and let it sit for a few minutes. Add some grapeseed oil and then sear your steak. Cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes until a nice crust develops. I like this meat medium rare to medium. Set your steak on a cutting board and let it rest for 7-10 minutes. Slice thinly on the bias.
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6. Lower the heat to medium low. Dice your red onions and put them in a bowl with some rice vinegar and a glug of soy. In the same pan add the diced red onions and soften them just a bit. This will take some of the bite out of the onion. Remove from the heat and pour in a bowl to cool.
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PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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PF Chang-ish Chicken Lettuce Wraps
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I mentioned this in an earlier post but growing up, Chinese food wasn’t a staple in my mom’s kitchen. In fact I can’t recall ever having it outside the occasional mall egg roll or going to a place my best friend’s mother liked. PF Chang’s was a place that opened up my aperture on Chinese food. When I had their General Tso Spicy Chicken and the Lettuce wraps I couldn’t believe it. It was fresh and balanced with sweet and heat.

Jill and I are still trying to control our carbs so a lettuce wrap seemed like a good choice tonight. I love how easy and fast this dish comes together. You can whip these up in no time and totally impress your palate, family, friends etc..
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Ingredients
1 lbs of ground chicken (pork works too)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbs of grated fresh ginger
¼ cup of diced water chestnuts
½ cup of fresh cilantro
1 diced jalapeno (seeded)
1 bunch of green onions diced (cook the whites and save green for topping)
3 tbs of Hoisin sauce
2 tbs Soy Sauce
1 tbs of Rice wine Vinegar
1 tbs of Sriracha
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1 head of Bibb/Butter lettuce

Sauce
2 tbs of Chili oil
2 tbs of Soy Sauce
1 tbs Sriracha
1 tbs of sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
Red Pepper Flakes
Shake of garlic powder
Shake of onion powder
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Directions:
1. Make the sauces by adding everything and mixing is well until combined. Set both aside.

2. Prep your lettuce by washing and drying each piece. Also chop all your veggies because this goes fast.

3. On to the meat. Heat up a tbs of olive oil or chili oil in a medium heated pan. Brown your ground chicken and break it down into small bits. Drain liquid/fat

4. Add the white and light green parts of the green onion and jalapeno and stir for about 3mins with the meat. Now add the garlic and ginger and stir for a few minutes.

5. Next add your liquids and stir for about 8mins stirring often. Turn off the heat and add the water chestnuts, green parts of the onion and the cilantro.

6. Serve the meat, lettuce leafs and sauce.. Enjoy!
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Fish Stick with Tarragon Aioli

Fish Sticks with Tarragon Aioli

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Fish Sticks with Tarragon Aioli
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Fish sticks were always a childhood favorite. Crispy,not too fishy, and smothered in ketchup. Heck it probably wasn’t fish but rather a mystery protein with fish flavoring. I have a few fish recipes in the queue. The aioli is adapted from Food52 (poster sdebrango). Instead of making the mayo, I just used Dukes Mayo and infused some garlic oil in it.

Jill has an interesting day teed up so I am going into full comfort mode for this evening. Fish sticks and stove top mac and cheese.

Ingredients:
Cod cut into strips
2 eggs
Panko
Old Bay Seasoning
Slap Ya Mama
Kosher Salt
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying

Tarragon Aioli
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbs of olive oil
3 tbs of Dukes Mayo
1 lime juiced and zested
1tbs of Tarragon
Kosher Salt and Pepper
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Directions:
1. Aioli – infuse the oil by adding crushed garlic to the oil and heat it up slowly and then turn off the heat and let the garlic and oil steep. The longer the better. When cooled blend everything up and Salt and Pepper to taste.

2. Beat your eggs. Season your Panko with Old Bay, SlapYaMama, Salt and Pepper. Cut your fish into sticks. Dip into the wet (eggs) and then Panko and then fry in oil on medium heat. Work in batches and set aside. If you need to keep them warm put them into an oven at 100-200 degrees.
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Sunny Summer Pasta with Crispy Bacon Bits

Sunny Summer Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sunny Summer Pasta
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This was adapted by Amanda Hesser from Food 52. It’s summer in a bowl with bright yellow colors, fresh herbs and balanced with crispy bacon bits. Light dish that would make a nice light lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:
5 strips of thick cut bacon (dusted with salt, pepper, brown sugar and cayenne)
2 ears of corn
½ yellow onion
2 cups of bow tie pasta (Farfalle)
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 yellow squash
Fresh Basil
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes (to your taste)
Parmesan cheese

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Directions:
1. Roast your bacon for 50 mins at 275 degrees until done to your liking. We like it crispy so pushed it to 1hrs. If you use thinly cut bacon be extra careful and reduce the cook time. Save 1tbs of the melted bacon fat.
2. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box. Save 1 cup of pasta water when draining just in case you need to thin out the pasta.
3. Amanda had specific directions on the squash so I followed her steps exactly. Shred your squash on a box grater and then take it and put it in a bowl with 1½ tps of Kosher salt. Let that sit for 10-30mins. What we are trying to do here is remove the moisture.
4. I took a large skillet on medium and put my corn in it to heat it up and lightly brown it. Remove it and start putting together your pasta by adding the bacon fat to the skillet. Cook your chopped onion in until translucent and soft. Then add your minced garlic for a couple of minutes. I added a few slices of squash along with the shredded squash. While adding the squash squeeze out the moisture with each handful added. Now cut your corn kernels and add them to the skillet. Cook everything for several minutes.
5. Finally, turn off the heat and add your pasta. Stir until well combined and then shred parmesan on top of the pasta and incorporate with some crushed red pepper flakes and crumbled bacon. If it is dry you can add a splash of pasta water to loosen it up or even more bacon fat Serve in a bowl and top with fresh basil, a few bacon crumbles and additional parmesan cheese.