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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta

Both of my kids love participating in the 4-H County Food and Nutrition contest. Daisy has to go into another room with three adult judges and then gets judged and ranked.

Her first year she won first place for applesauce bread, last year I don't remember how she placed with her baked apple.

This year she won first place again! She made Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta which is so perfect in the fall.

She is supposed to know things like how many calories per serving, what are the primary nutrients you get from the dish, how you prepared it, what you could substitute and could it be made healthier. The judges don't taste the food - or they aren't supposed to, there was a food poisoning incident several years ago - but they do look at how it looks and smells.

Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 pounds uncooked chicken breast, cut into 1 inch peices
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
3 1/4 cups gluten-free chicken broth
12 ounces gluten- free pasta
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for just a minute. Add the cubed chicken and cook through. Add squash, rosemary and saute for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until the squash is tender and the liquid is reduced by about half, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the (gluten- free) pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often. Drain pasta.
Toss the pasta and squash mixture in a large bowl until the liquid thickens slightly and coats the pasta. Transfer the pasta mixture to a wide shallow bowl and serve.

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