Squash And Ricotta Rustic Tart

squash tart

As soon as the weather starts to change into cooler days and nights, I’m in the stores buying squash. Squash of any kind is so versatile and you can create so many healthy and delicious meals with it.

Tarts are the perfect way to showcase winter squash, it can be served as a meatless main dish or a tasty appetizer or side, either way you can’t go wrong!

delicata squash

For this tart I paired creamy ricotta with delicata squash, delicata is easy to work with because the skin is nice and thin and totally edible, but you can certainly make this with butternut squash you just have to peel it first.

The crust is homemade ( which is a breeze to make in the food processor) and has the addition of polenta which gives it the ultimate crunch factor. As much as I like to buy pre-made crusts nothing compares to this one.

Topped with crispy sage and toasted pepitas, this tart screams FALL!

tart dough

I used two delicata squash, sliced them into half inch rounds then scooped out the seeds. Placed them onto a baking sheet and roasted them beforehand.

pre baked tart

Ready for the oven with a quick drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan before baking.

delicata tart

A crunchy crust with the creamy, cheesy filling of ricotta, topped with the sweet rich flavor of the delicata squash, it’s the ultimate combo!

If you want to try another version, here’s one I did a few years back, using different veggies with the same delicious crust.

squash tart

I hope you make this amazing tart and serve up a slice to your family and friends this fall season.

Squash And Ricotta Rustic Tart
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 delicata squash, cut into ½ inch rings with the seeds scooped out
  • FILLING
  • 1 cup ricotta, drained of moisture
  • 1 finely minced garlic clove
  • 2 eggs, 1 for the filling and 1 to brush on top
  • ½ cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • DOUGH
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour (unbleached)
  • ½ cup of instant polenta or fine cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ to ½ cup of ice water
  • fresh sage leaves
  • pepitas (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  2. Place rings of delicata onto a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, roast til lightly golden on each side, then remove and let them cool down.
  3. Prepare the dough in a food processor by pulsing the flour, polenta, salt and pepper together. Add the butter and process until combined. Then while the machine is running add the ice water down the tube a little at a time until the dough starts to come together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for ½ hour.
  4. Meanwhile mix up the ricotta in a bowl along with the grated cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and 1 egg.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge, let it sit at room temp for 15 minutes the on parchment roll it out to about 12 inches in diameter. Take your time rolling then place the whole thing onto a baking sheet.
  6. Spread the ricotta mixture onto the dough leaving a 2 inch border all around. Place your roasted squash on top all around. Fold the edges up and pleat where needed to seal it in good.
  7. Brush the crust with the remaining egg, you won't use it all.
  8. Sprinkle the edge with grated cheese, black pepper .
  9. Drizzle the top with olive oil.
  10. Bake around 35 minutes at 400F or until crust is deep golden and ricotta is set.
  11. To garnish the top, drizzle a bit of olive oil in a small pan and crisp up the sage and toss in pepeitas to get golden and arrange all over the finished tart.
  12. Enjoy!

 

Signature

Spaghetti Squash "Pasta"

This is a simple and healthy meal I served to my spaghetti loving husband the other day, it’s packed with flavor and so good for you. A nice Italian salad on the side, maybe some warm crusty bread and you have dinner on the table in no time.

Once you roast your spaghetti squash this dish comes together in minutes, in fact I roasted mine the day before and had it for dinner the next day.
I cut my squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and then place cut side down on parchment paper in a preheated 350F oven for 40-45 minutes depending on size. I test mine by piercing the skin with the tip of a knife, when it goes through easy, it’s done!

I used just a few ingredients; garlic** red onion slices** red pepper** fresh spinach** grated parmesan or romano cheese** fresh basil and parsley.
Saute garlic, onions and red pepper, at the time I made this I had a few of those sweet red thin skinned long peppers so I just cut them into rings and used them.

Next you need to shred all those glorious strands from your squash, a fork works perfectly, it’s amazing how much I got from just one squash, enough to feed us twice, talk about “budget friendly!”

Combine your squash with your veggie mix right into the saute pan, on medium heat add in some fresh torn spinach leaves, your grated cheese, the fresh herbs, more olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing as you go along and tasting for just the right amount of everything to your liking.
I’m sorry but I never have an exact recipe for things like this.
Taste as you go, that’s my motto and I’m sticking to it!
Buon Appetito!
Signature

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I’ve been stuffing lots of vegetables lately, cabbage, peppers and squash to name a few, I don’t know why maybe because it’s November, it’s cold out and I have that comfort food thing going on.

I actually made this tonight for dinner along with a spinach salad it was healthy, hearty and very comforting!

Some people get intimidated by squash with all the different shapes and sizes, don’t be, you’ll be missing out on such a treat! Just make sure your knives are sharpened when you cut into it! Here’s a quick video on how to cut one properly.
I love the shape of acorn squash with those scalloped edges, just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp then roast it in your oven at 375 degrees cut side down for around 40 minutes, after it cools a bit then take a spoon and scoop out some of the meaty flesh along the sides and bottom reserving that to add to your stuffing mixture.

The cooked squash then becomes your perfect edible bowl pretty scallops and all! You can get very creative in what you choose to stuff them with, the possibilities are endless.
For mine I used sauted onion, garlic and scallions, cooked brown rice, chopped fresh spinach, dried cranberries, a shredded cheese blend of asiago, fontina and mozzarella, grated parmesan, the scooped out squash I reserved, cooked and diced chicken sausage that was flavored with roasted garlic and fontina, fresh parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.

After you stuff them place them back in the oven for around 20 minutes or until heated through. We enjoyed every bite!!

This is the view of my back yard, I guess we have a ton of raking to do this weekend, winter’s right around the corner!
Buon Appetito!

Signature

Winter Risotto

In case you missed it the other day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so according to him we still have 6 more weeks of winter, which means you still have plenty of time to make this warm and earthy risotto.

Any type of winter squash could be used in this recipe such as acorn, pumpkin, delicata and even sweet potatoes, but as I mentioned in my previous post I told you how much I adored butternut squash, so now pair that with spinach and earthy crimini mushrooms and you have the makings of a wonderful and hearty risotto!

I like to have my squash roasted and ready beforehand and towards the end of cooking the risotto I just toss it all in along with sliced mushrooms and fresh torn spinach. Kale would be good as well if you want to replace the spinach.

This easily could be a one pot meal or served as an individual side. Risotto is so easy to mold, while it’s warm it takes on the shape of whatever you place it in, whether it’s a tiny bowl or ramekin, I’ve even used a spring form pan to mold a whole pot of risotto, after it cools slightly you can release the spring and then cut it into wedges.

Here’s the ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice*** 4 cups of chicken or veggie stock, simmering hot on stove*** 2 cloves of minced garlic***1/2 of chopped onion***fresh thyme*** 1/2 cup white wine*** 3 cups of roasted medium diced butternut squash***1 1/2 cups of sliced crimini mushrooms*** 1 large handful of fresh torn baby spinach*** 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Here’s what you do:

In a heavy pot on medium heat, drizzle bottom with olive oil and 1 T of butter, toss in the onion and garlic and saute. Next toss in the rice and season with fresh thyme, salt and pepper, cook rice until you see a light golden color. De glaze with the wine, letting it cook down.

By ladle fulls, start adding stock stirring until it’s absorbed into the rice, keep adding stock and stirring. Towards the end, add in your squash, mushrooms and spinach, gently stirring until all stock is gone. Turn of the heat, toss in your cheese, and a little drizzle more of the olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper.

Enjoy and Buon Appetito!

Signature