Oh, the joy of a new cooking magazine. I picked up the January 2011 issue of Jamie Oliver's namesake magazine while in Hong Kong last month, and have already made the best meatballs ever, eggplant moussaka, and today, winter squash ravioli.
I started with a large Chinese cleaver and a small squash. Pumpkin? Butternut? Around here its just known as nangua.
I cleaved it into wedges, brushed said wedges with olive oil, and roasted in a hot oven of indeterminate temperature for a while until it was soft. My oven is of indeterminate temperature because it is not actually installed or insulated in any way, so it doesn't maintain a steady temperature. Usually I just turn it on to "high" and hope for the best. Today my method worked and the nangua cooked beautifully.
I scooped out all the wonderfully soft, fragrant, and creamy pulp, added a little butter, ground coriander, dried chiles, and grated parmesan cheese. A potato masher really did the job here; three mashes and I was done.
A brilliant and simple recipe with one problem: the recipe calls for pre-made wonton skins in lieu of fresh pasta, and the moment I filled the little raviolis, they filling began peeking out from ruptures in the skins. Apparently Jamie has not tested dumpling skins from the Qingdao Jusco supermarket before publishing this lovely recipe.
But having been trained in the culinary school of hard knocks, after compromising and improvising for five years spent living in Asia, I wasn't even fazed. Yes, the ravioli were a minor disaster, but I salvaged the whole mess by referring to the SImply Recipes recipe for Butternut Squash pasta sauce and improvising accordingly. Return spiced pumpkin pulp to stovetop. Add vegetable broth. Add cream. More cheese. Crisis averted and Friday dinner was on the table, homemade and wholesome, as planned.
I haven't pulled out my macro lens in quite a long time, but was motivated today by my friend and neighbor Christine's challenge to shoot something of beauty, one per day, for these gray days of winter. If you're overwhelmed by the gray of winter and need some photo motivation (plus the joy of reading the musings of a truly talented writer) head over to Homemade in China.
I'm also linking up today, for the first time in a long time, with Macro Friday at Blogging in Bolivia.