First, a note about the title of this post. You may have seen the show "Pantry Raid" on the Style Network (or maybe not-- its probably been cancelled by now because it sucked) which brings a bitter tear to my eye since Xani and I, and our cousins Ann and Karen, had thought of this exact same idea (only better)! But, we were beaten to the punch. Our version would have been fabulous! Okay, moving on...
The other night, I did a little pantry raiding of my own and came up with a sort of deconstructed butternut squash ravioli. As you may have noticed in past posts, butternut squash is a top-rated ingredient for the BCD girls. Xani has raved about it's durability and shelf-life, so the last time I was at the store, I picked one up.
As I was rummaging through my fridge, I placed the squash on the counter top, thinking "maybe I will use this, maybe not." As I turned back to the fridge to continue rummaging, I heard a roll and a thump. The squash had fallen off the counter and cracked in half. "Well, gotta use it now!," I thought. I also had some ricotta cheese leftover since I made the Ricotta-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates (that we made for a Thanksgiving nosh) for a holiday party earlier in the week. So, I googled "ricotta cheese and butternut squash" and mostly what came up were recipes for butternut squash ravioli or butternut squash lasagna. I, of course, did not have any of the appropriate shapes of pasta, so I just improvised.
I started by peeling and cutting up the squash into about 1-inch cubes. I tossed the cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted them for quite a while (probably 45 minutes) until they were very soft and caramelized.
After - all caramelized and yummy
I boiled up some pasta (penne - I prefer short pasta, maybe because I'm short?) while the squash was roasting, and got out the other ingredients I wanted to use, namely the ricotta, parsley, and lemons.
Then I just put everything together: pasta, roasted squash, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, lemon juice, parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil.
I think it came out pretty good, if I do say so myself! The ricotta sort of brought the whole thing together, and the parsley and the lemon juice cut through the heavier ingredients like the squash and the olive oil. (When I told the BCD parents about this, they said it sounded like the old-school comfort food of bow-ties and cottage cheese, which by the way is SO GOOD.)
I don't really cook that much at home (since cooking for one is LAME) but this was a fun little experiment, and I feel inspired to do it again soon!
Happy eating (and experimenting),