It is with much shamefaced-ness that I post this highly belated update. There has been far too much writing of copy and far too little weekend in the past while, but hopefully this butternut and mushroom pasta will serve as a moderately exculpating factor.
So, presented with the challenge of preparing a dinner that was both suitably impressive, and vaguely healthy, the murky beginnings of this dish began to form in my mind. I’d made something somewhat along these lines as a ravioli filling and risotto variant in the days when I was unemployed and flush with free time, so I briskly stepped up to the (hot)plate and started cooking. The stars of this show, in no particular order, are: pumpkin (diced), mushrooms (sliced), garlic (minced), and rocket (plucked).
After a putting the mushrooms on to sauté with the merest hint of garlic, the pumpkin was briefly microwaved and then grilled – with more time, inclination and effort it should be roasted, but grilling gives a suitably analogous flavour when under time constraints. Once both were brought to submission, a healthy knob of butter was used to smooth the introduction of the two, and a two-man clutch of pasta was boiled until al dente. With said pasta boiled, it was added to the mushroom/pumpkin mixture with a manly fistful of baby rocket (impressively cultivated on-site). And thus was a Sunday night dinner born.
Now, to the point of the title. I would have liked to lubricate the resultant sauce with a slug of cream, but alas there was none. As a back-up plan, I decided to try and concoct a sneaky béchamel to bind it all. And there lay the rub. I had happened to happen upon the only house in the greater Durban area devoid of flour. No cheeky baked goods graced these walls apparently. The moral of the story, however, is that the pasta was quite delicious without these calorific additions. Either could – and probably will in future – be added, as required.
And so a rather lovely weekend was rounded off. A virtuous Sunday night dinner to end a somewhat overindulgent weekend (or Friday night at least).
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