My day? In short: The baby was fussy (teething?), the book needs more work, and my house just keeps getting messier. Comfort food was in order. But what?
Jason and I recently had dinner at Pair, one of favorite restaurants in the area (just a mile or so from our house), and I had a plate of lovely little Kabocha squash dumplings. I'm obsessed with squash right now, so when I saw a display of Kabochas (it's a Japanese squash with a bright green exterior and sweet and luscious flesh) at the grocery store today, I threw several in my cart -- with absolutely no idea what I was going to do with them. Then, inspiration struck:
Orecchiette with Kabocha Squash, Kale and Cream
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium to large Kabocha squash
1 bunch of kale, or a little less, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 package of orecchiette
2/3 cup cream (you could use more or less, though; just eyeball it)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the squash in half, remove seeds and the stringy matter. Place cut-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle a little olive oil on each, and place in the oven. Test with a knife in about 20-30 minutes. When the squash is soft and begins to pull away from the skin, it's done. You'll need to let it cool a bit before removing the skin and dicing into bite-size pieces. Bring pasta to a boil and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, drizzle in a little olive oil and saute the garlic a bit over medium heat, just until it begins to release its fragrance. Next, add in the diced squash, the kale, and chicken stock. Let mixture simmer just a bit before transferring the cooked pasta to the pan. Reduce heat to low and add cream. Let simmer for a few minutes, add salt and pepper (to taste). Then, plate and top with a generous helping of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. We sprinkled a bit of red pepper flakes on ours, too, because well, we put red pepper flakes on everything.