Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin & Cashew Pasta Casserole

I'm making this this afternoon but I am modifying it because I really don't like super cheesy anything - I usually feel pretty awful after consuming a lot of dairy (except yoghurt). This version has all the creamy-ness and savory-ness that cheese would provide. Here we go:

Pumpkin & Ricotta Pasta Casserole
serves 6
Olive oil
1 pound pasta, such as farfalle, small shells, or elbows
One 15-ounce container ricotta 1 3/4 cups of cashew cream (cashews in the blender with enough water to puree it into a similar texture to ricotta - I didn't make it smooth on account of the nuts that are supposed to be in it anyway)
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree 1 3/4 cups carnival squash puree (made by chopping up 2 carnival squash, drizzling with olive oil and roasting in the oven, then peeling and putting in the blender)
2 eggs 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed plus 6 tablespoons of water whisked together in a bowl.
1/2 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg pinch of thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger pinch of rosemary
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped (the cashews provide the nutty texture that these would give)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (I actually did more than this, typically in recipes that call for garlic, I -at the least- double the amount)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, divided
Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Set aside. Bring a 4-quart pot of water to boil over high heat, and stir about 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for a slightly shorter amount of time than specified by the package. (For instance, if the package specifies 10 to 12 minutes, cook for 9 to 10, or until just barely al dente.) Drain the pasta and toss lightly with olive oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta cashew cream, pureed pumpkin carnival squash, eggs flax seed, and yogurt. Whisk in the salt, pepper, nutmeg thyme, and ginger rosemary.
Stir in the pasta and coat completely with the pumpkin squash mixture. Stir in chopped pecans, sage, and garlic. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan.
Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over top. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lists: Current Things

-I have taught myself CSS. The website is not perfect yet, but its a nice update on the original and I'm learning a lot.

-My house smells like bread. Ryan made a delicious loaf although for lack of a lemon, he did not make the apple pie he intended. He is now knitting his sweater.

-I had a strange experience a few weeks ago that reminded me of being in middle school. I am still mulling it over.

-Middle school was horrible.

-My mossariums and succulents are thriving. My fern, however, is struggling after its near death experience in the jaws of Barnaby.  I think with some TLC, it should recover. I'd never cried for a plant before.

-I spent a lovely weekend in Connecticut last weekend. It was especially interesting because I'm reading Michael Pollan's Second Nature, which takes place in Connecticut.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Colony Collapse Disorder

Scientists and the Army have found that Colony Collapse Disorder might be caused by a virus and a fungus. Apparently not cell phones as JohnTheHippie tried to convince me all those years ago. Far be it from me to call anyone a hypocrite (I actually do it all the time) - but for someone who pretty much only has a social life (as opposed to any other kind of life, hobby or interest) and who runs that social life primarily from one's cell phone, nagging me about my cell phone usage was...well..inappropriate.

I hear he has a computer now, but I'm not going to email him. I received on or two from him in the past and theY wereALL writTTTNE ss thouhffh HIS CAT WAS wakking acorst thE keeeeeebord.

Too excruciating for this grammar snob's eyes.