Wednesday, July 09, 2008

double the pasta, double the fun

I love cookbooks. While I certainly use the Internet for a lot of my recipes (especially since we put the computer in the kitchen), there is something about being able to directly document the changes I make and the reactions to recipes that I enjoy. I also enjoy finding those notations later.

This recipe for conchiglie stuffed with roast pumpkin and ricotta is a perfect example of that. I made it for the first time in April this year, only a few weeks after receiving this cookbook.

One word is handwritten on the page after the date: Yum!

After making it again, I have to say that comment still holds. Maybe it's the creamy combination of the pumpkin and the ricotta. More likely it's the richness of the 10 cloves of garlic roasted and then baked in. Or, possibly, it could be the combination of the tomato sauce and white wine which adds just the right finishing touch.

If you make this recipe yourself, please be sure and let me know what you think, okay?

The orginal recipe comes from Quick & Easy BBQ's and Grills (Do Australians really count pasta as barbeque or grill food?). If you know anything about cooking at our house, then you know we love barbeque. Butternut pumpkin squash is the ingredient called for in the book. The first time I made the recipe I used actual chunks of pumpkin I had leftover in the freezer from Hallowe'en. This past week I used an acorn squash, and I even mixed in some grilled eggplant I had remaining from a previous night's dinner. I think it would work equally well with just about any squash.

You'll also see spinach linguini in the photo. That's because I grossly underestimated the amount of conchiglie I had in the house to serve to 3 adults, a toddler and one hungry 13-month old. (No, wait, it was for additional colour...right?)

This is my latest submission to Presto Pasta Nights, started by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast and hosted this week by Gay of A Scientist in the Kitchen. Be sure to stop by and take a look. I'm excited this week because a member of my extended family has told me she would be submitting a recipe. I'll link to it here when I see it!

Conchiglie stuffed with roast pumpkin and ricotta
adapted from Quick & Easy BBQ's and Grills
serves 4

1 regular sized squash, cut into wedges
Olive oil to drizzle
10 unpeeled garlic cloves (or less, if you are not a big fan of garlic)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup fresh, shredded basil
3 cups of pomodoro sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
24-32 conchiglie (sold as giant jumbo shells where I shop)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
2. Place squash in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and bake for 45 minutes or until everything is tender and mashable. While this is cooking, boil water for the conchiglie. Cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta.
3. Remove the squash from the oven, but leave the oven on, because you'll bake the shells at the same temperature. Let the squash cool, peel it and mash it. Mix with the ricotta and half of the basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Put the pasta sauce and wine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 more minutes, or until it has slightly thickened.
5. Fill the shells with the pumpkin/cheese/basil mixture and then spread any remainder in a large ovenproof dish. Top with shells, and then pour the sauce over all. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and the rest of the basil and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread (or spinach linguini ;-))

1 comment:

Ruth Daniels said...

It does sound like a wonderful dish and my guess it's the awesome combination of all those great flavors together.

Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.