[SMN HEALTHY HOLIDAY Recipes] Italian Sausage and Squash Bolognese

Take this easy recipe to any Holiday party and I promise, you’ll be a hit! It’s amazing flavors of seasonal squash and amazing spices like fennel seed and oregano. If you like a traditional Italian bolognese then you’ll be sure to love this as well. The holidays couldn’t taste any better.

My favorite part about this is that your kids would never know the difference. All the squash in this dish is packed with Vitamin A, C, & E, potassium, and fiber. YUM with all the healthy benefits!

So first, pick you favorite winter squash. I recommend using either a butternut squash or an acorn squash, they have the best flavors for this recipe.

How to cook the squash (so that you never used canned squash again!): Preheat your oven to 375°F. Rinse your squash. Cut in half and remove seeds and the rest of the innards. Rinse again and pat dry with a towel. Season lightly with just salt and pepper. You’ll get a chance to season the dish once you cook the bolognese. On a baking sheet/tray, lay the squash cut side up and lightly drizzle with some olive oil. Depending on the size or your squash and type of oven you have, roast your squash for about 25-35 minutes or until fully cooked or tender. Set aside to cool. Once cooled off, scoop out flesh and set aside in a bowl. Place cooked flesh in a blender or food processor and pulse until squash is a thick puree. Set aside until ready to use! (This can be done up to 4 days in advance. Just keep it refridgerated in an airtight container. Or your can freeze it and keep it up to a month or so.)

So now that you know how to roast your own squash at home, go ahead and never ever use canned pumpkin or squash again!

Italian Sausage & Winter Squash Bolognese Ingredients (good for 8 servings): 1 lb of cooked squash (puree) or 1 large butternut squash or 2 medium acorn squash; 1 1/2 lbs of mild or hot Italian sausage (remove from casing); 1 1/2 lbs of penne pasta or your favorite short cut pasta (would be great with Tagliatelle as well); 3 tbsp olive oil; 1 medium onion; 3 cloves of garlic; 2 tsp fresh sage; 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes; 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 1 cup parmesan cheese; parsley (for garnish); salt and pepper TT.

If this sounds like something you want to serve up this holiday season and would like the recipe, just leave a COMMENT here on this blog, EMAIL me at servemenowcatering@yahoo.com, TWEET me at @servemenow, or LIKE me and on facebook.com/servemenow!

Stay tuned for more Healthy Holiday Sides! Happy Cooking!

NY Pizza in Vegas? Fuhgeddaboudit!!

It’s like Donnie Brasco said,

But then, it’s also like if something’s the greatest thing in the world, like “Minga! Those peppers? Fuhgeddaboudit!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf0ZyoUn7Vk&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3]

Since I moved here 5 years ago, I’ve been to more than a handful of Vegas pizzerias hoping to find the best NY-Style pizza I grew up with or any good pizza for that matter. For the longest, I have to say I had my doubts. Some came close, there’s Metro Pizza, Napoli Pizzeria, Villa Pizza, Boston Pizza, Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, Big Mama’s & Papa’s, Eastside, Manhattan and maybe the two that were the closest, Grimaldi’s on S. Rampart & Marc Rich’s in Summerlin!

Even with Marc Rich’s coming close in the race and even though I take my daughter there every other Sunday after a hike at Red Rock and before church, another pizzeria takes 1st place in my book!

A small restaurant at the end of a shopping plaza, Rocco’s New York Italian Deli & Pizzeria is the #1 Vegas joint servin’ up a great piece of NY’s best invention!

It’s perfectly thin, no more than a 1/4″ thick [with the sauce]. It’s perfectly crisp! Dough is flavorful! Sauce is sweet and acidic [like any good pizza sauce should be]! It’s NYC pizza in the heart of Summerlin, a planned community in Las Vegas! Fuhgeddaboudit!!

Rocco’s NY-Style Thin Crust Pizza

So if you want to enjoy a little piece of home while your in Vegas, stop by Rocco’s at 10860 W. Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV (702) 796-0111. or visit http://www.roccosnypizza.com/