Common sense: a recipe for success

25 Oct

This is a story about shoving common sense to one side, and blindly following recipes.

As I’ve said before, pasta was a big part of my staple diet before the start of this year, and filled pasta (predominantly tortellini) was the ultimate in lazy. You didn’t even have to make a sauce: just boil some water, drop the parcels in for a few minutes and chuck some grated cheese on top.

I was expecting the From Scratch version to be far more complex but in fact it’s still fairly easy. Not quite the same convenience as a super market but I wouldn’t call it a complex dish. 

As I was craving some autumnal vegetable I decided on butternut squash ravioli. I’m still not quite sure what the difference is between ravioli or tortellini other than the shape so they may have been tortellini, but in the interest of diversity let’s give ravioli a chance.

My original plan was to follow a recipe for this, but as I got further and further stuck in my orangey butternut squash mess, (imagine it was the 90s and I had just been gunged on Nickelodeon and you’re getting close to what I looked like) I realised that sometimes following the recipe just isn’t the right way to go.

It’s like following the Sat Nav and missing your junction. Even if you’re driving home, if TomTom tells you in her sensual voice to “drive off the nearest mountain”, you do it despite your better judgement. Similarly, when you focus completely on a recipe you stop using your common sense and culinary experience and jump off the proverbial food cliff lemming style. I used to love playing lemmings but I don’t really want to be one!  Anyway I digress, let’s get back to the lovely butternut squash.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Ingredients    

For the filling

1 butternut squash

Knob of butter

1 tsp of sugar

Salt and pepper to season

For pasta – Check out the recipe here

+ 1 egg to seal

Method

  1. Don’t completely follow this recipe to the detriment of your own pasta, use your own mind and creativity!
  2. Chop the Butternut squash into cubes
  3. Place a pan on the heat and melt a knob of butter in it
  4. Put the butternut squash into the pan and let it soften on a low heat for about 20 mins
  5. Whilst this is happening prep pasta and leave to cool in fridge covered in cling film
  6. Once softened add salt, pepper and sugar to taste- I like mine sweet so you may want to use less sugar (again, use your head/taste buds!)
  7. Next blitz this mixture in a food processor until you have a smooth paste
  8. Now roll out your pasta and lay it on a floured side.
  9. This is where I went wrong so please use your judgement – my pasta was too thin for the amount of squash I used and it got very messy. So teaspoon your mixture out on the pasta leaving enough room to be able to cut around each piece.
  10. Egg wash around the edge of each bit of squash then lay another sheet of pasta over the top and press down, there should be enough room so you can cut out each pasta shape.
  11. Place them on a baking sheet and leave to cool in the fridge for about 30 mins
  12. Boil your water and pop the pasta in, they really don’t take long to cook you will know they are done as they bobble up to the top
  13. So there you have it: butternut squash ravioli.

Where I went wrong was not leaving enough space between each teaspoon of butternut squash, so when I tried to place the pasta on top and join them, the orangey goodness squeezes itself out of my lovely pasta parcels and all over me, the table and the other pieces of pasta – I felt like a child playing with very sticky, messy, but tasty play dough! Thus my words of warning: use your head, don’t just assume that what I or anyone else says is right; there is no divine rightness in the kitchen!

Despite this messy complication the pasta actually tasted delicious and didn’t fall apart in the pan – an absolute miracle – apparently I was having a good day with the food gods. Either way it made for a delicious and fairly quick dinner. Next time though I’ll have to juggle the recipe with my own noodle.

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