Saturday, April 19, 2008
I've been looking forward to this month's Taste & Create event, hosted by Myamii at For the Love of Food. I was paired with Cara of Cara's Cravings and absolutely loved going through her blog. Being a novice baker and a vegetarian, I usually skip over most recipes that mention "yeast" or "meat" :) But this was different. Cara's blog has a little bit for everyone and loads of lovely photos!
After days of clicking, I finally chose to make her Roasted Squash and Ricotta Pasta (though I must've bookmarked a dozen recipes to try later!). I made just a few changes, but stuck to the original recipe for the most part.
It was absolutely delicious and everyone was licking their plates clean. She also taught me quite a few "tricks" - like adding pasta water when making the sauce and how to roast garlic!! Here's her original recipe (my remarks are in italics)
Roasted Squash and Ricotta pasta
12 oz butternut squash, peeled and diced (I used pumpkin because I searched for 3 days and couldn't find any squash in my city!)
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
6 oz whole wheat spaghetti (I used fettucine)
baby spinach, about 2 handfuls (had to omit this - I waited the same 3 days and the grocery stores never got the right spinach. I love spinach - so was a little sad about that)
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange squash and onions on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt pepper, and nutmeg, spritz with olive oil and toss around. Place the two cloves of garlic on a small square of foil spritzed with olive oil, and wrap it up. Put on the baking sheet with the onions and squash. Roast for about 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti. Meanwhile, combine ricotta cheese, the roasted garlic, and about 1/2 cup of the cooked squash in a blender. Add 1-2 ladles of pasta water and puree.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pan, keeping warm Combine with the ricotta sauce and the spinach, stirring to coat the pasta and wilt the spinach. Fold in the remaining vegetables. Garnish each serving with pine nuts.
It was delicious. Thanks, Cara. This is going to be a regular feature in our pasta nights.