Pasta with Summer Squash and Caramelized Onion PLUS a Cookbook Giveaway

In case you haven’t heard yet, Meatless Monday is now a thing.

It’s a food blogging thing, a Twitter thing with a hashtag #meatlessmonday and an Instagram thing. There’s a Meatless Monday Facebook page and a pretty great MM website.


Are cows and chickens behind the Meatless Monday mania? Who knows, but I like the idea of encouraging people to go without meat at least one day a week. It’s not asking a whole lot. No one is strong-arming you to go full-on vegetarian.  Me, I gave up red meat and “the other white meat” over a year ago, just because. Because I honestly prefer the taste of vegetables and grains and seafood and I’m lucky enough to live in a place where it’s abundant, fresh and accessible.

A meal without meat is not just a bunch of side dishes. You can find meatless recipes everywhere, including the spots I mentioned above. A new favorite source for me is this book:

 Always in Season by Elise Richter  was recently put out by Islandport Press, a local publisher dedicated to New England authors and artists.  I adore the colorful, cheerful  illustrations by Teresa Lagrange. The recipes are predominantly vegetable (or fruit) based, but there are some good ones for you meat and fish lovers too . So far I’ve bookmarked Maple-Glazed Scallops with Carroty Rice Pilaf, Lemony Spinach and Quinoa Soup, Pumpkin Lasagne and a Blueberry Bundt Cake.

The book follows the New England growing season month-by-month and the recipes make use of what you’ll find at the farmers’ market any time of the year. If it’s September, it must be zucchini! So let’s make roast it up, caramelize some onions and mix it all together with some creamy ricotta and herbs for dinner tonight. It’s the perfect choice for Meatless Monday!


Pasta with Summer Squash and Caramelized Onions                                                         adapted from from Always in Season by Elise Richer and illustrated by Teresa Lagrange

3 medium summer squash (green or yellow), each one quartered then cut into 3/4″ slices

4 Tbsps. olive oil, divided

1 tsp. sea salt

freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, toasted

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 yellow onions, halved crosswise and cut into 1/3″ slices

12 oz. farfalle (bowtie pasta) or other shape of your choice

3/4 cup fresh ricotta

2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Spread the cut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 3 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast in the oven. After 15 minutes, remove squash from oven, season with 1.2 tsp. salt and some freshly ground pepper. Stir with a spatula and return to oven for another 15 minutes, until very soft and browned in some spots. Set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add onion slices and toss to coat. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook onions, without disturbing them, until the ones on the bottom are lightly browned. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and stir. Continue cooking  and stirring occasionally until the onions are very soft and brown. (This can take up to 45 minutes or so – be patient). Remove from the heat and stir in balsamic vinegar.

Cook pasta until al dente. Scoop out one cup of pasta water, the drain. Place ricotta in the bottom of a large serving bowl and whisk in a few spoonfuls of the hot  pasta water, until the cheese is cre

amy and smooth. Add pasta, roasted squash, onions, basil and parsley, Parmesan and a generous grind of black pepper. Fold gently to combine. Add salt if necessary. Sprinkle nut on top, then serve with additional Parmesan if desired.

Would you like a copy of your Always in Season? I have one to give away, thanks to Islandport Press. Here are a couple of ways you can win…

1. Leave a comment here (see where it says “leave a comment” at the top of the post -click on it), letting me know you’re interested.

2. Follow Mignardise on Facebook here. Come back and tell me you “liked” me in another comment. If you are already a Facebook fan (thanks!), please let me know.

3. Follow me on Instagram here. Come back and leave another comment telling me you did. If you are already a follower (that’s so awesome!) let me know in an additional comment.

Thanks – looking forward to hearing from you!


Print Friendly


  1. I recently saw this book at Longfellow and thumbed through its beautiful pages. Would love a copy of my own for my very small cookbook collection. I already follow you on instagram and just now “liked” you on facebook!

    I’ve been doing meatless Mondays for quite some time and I never miss the meat when I add toasted pine nuts, walnut oil and roasted broccoli to my gluten free pasta. Very satisfying. Your addition of cheeses, herbs and squash sounds right up my alley.

  2. @Barefootbuzz followed you on Twitter!

  3. Followed you on Facebook! Can’t remember my username on Instagram, so working on that! :)

  4. Following you on Pinterest now, too!

  5. Marjorie Lewis says:

    I like you on facebook and in real life as well! Love the blog and make some of these recipes over and over again!! I’ve been doing “meatless” Mondays for a while now, not always on Monday but at least one day a week. I’m going to try this receipe too!

  6. This recipe sounds amazing! I am always looking for new dinner ideas so this would be great!

  7. I like you on FB!

  8. Jess House says:

    I LOVE Teresa Lagrange’s art!! So cheerful and full of color. I would love to have a copy of the cookbook mentioned above in your post- still have one up for grabs, or shall I get mine at IslandPort Press? :0)

    • Jess,
      The cookbook is available at Royal River Books in Yarmouth (I work there!). Please come on by and say hello!

Please leave a comment