Shock! Horror! A savoury recipe from me that doesn't involve pastry! I haven't really posted any meal recipes on Domestic Gothess yet, that doesn't mean that I don't eat savoury food (unfortunately one cannot live on cake alone...), or that I don't cook (I do, a lot), it is just that unlike when I bake, where everything is weighed out and timed precisely, my cooking style tends to be somewhat more haphazard...I don't weigh ingredients, or time how long things take to cook, or follow recipes; my method is generally to chuck things in a pan and cook them until they look done. That's not to say that I am a bad cook - my cooking tastes good, I'm just not particularly precise about it.
Which is why up until now I haven't posted any non-baked recipes, because it involves changing the whole way I cook - weighing things and timing processes and making notes, and generally when I cook I just want to get it done - because I'm hungry! So I thought I'd ease myself into the different cooking style by making a recipe that I have cooked many times before, that I pretty much know the quantities and timings of off by heart. And that dish is spinach and ricotta pasta with roast butternut squash and red onion.
It is a very quick, simple dish to prepare but is also delicious, filling and super healthy - it is jam packed full of colourful vegetables and I use wholewheat pasta to make it that little bit healthier and more filling. It does contain cheese, but ricotta is fairly low calorie and parmesan is strongly flavoured so you don't need to use a vast quantity of it for the flavour to come through - besides, cheese is high in protein! This recipe quantity serves four hungry people but you could probably stretch it to serve six (small portions) if you also have sides.
- 1 butternut squash, about 1.2kg unprepared weight
- 1 large red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 350g (12 oz) pasta (I used wholemeal)
- 350g (12 oz) fresh spinach
- 250g (9 oz) ricotta cheese
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- parmesan/grana padano cheese, to taste
- salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
Peel the butternut squash and scrape out the seeds, cut into chunks and tip into a large roasting tin, slice the red onion and add to the tin along with the garlic, herbs, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Toss everything together to coat then roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
Wash and shred the spinach then wilt it in a hot, dry pan. Pour off any excess water, then stir in the ricotta, nutmeg, a generous grating of parmesan and some salt and pepper, heat through.
Drain the cooked pasta and stir into the spinach mixture, add the roasted vegetables.
Check the seasoning and add more parmesan, salt and pepper as needed.