When searching for recipes there a few things that I look for in particular: the ingredients, the method of preparation and of course, the final presentation. As I’ve been learning to cook, I have been trying to expand my skills in the kitchen without comprimising the process–there’s nothing worse than getting something wrong and ruining your dinner. As a virgin to the use of butternut squash (but not the flavour) I knew this was going to be a challenge–and this was my first Jamie Oliver recipe too.
First, I had to google how to properly peel and cut said butternut squash. I also had no clue if the one I got was too big or what? I was literally flying blind throughout this whole process. However, here is a great article on how to peel and cut your butternut squash.
I think mine was definitely too big! It was also $13.00 at the grocery store–is that a good price I wonder?
Anyways, managed to get it peeled and cut and thrown in the oven to bake. I definitely did not time this recipe out well enough. I’ve made a new rule: Always read ENTIRE recipe before starting anything.
He asks you to chop up garlic and the basil STEMS. I’ve never used the stems before but as I chopped them, I imagined they would give great flavour to the dish. P.S. Kyle got me a mini tripod so I can take some cutting board shots now–so good.
The pasta should have been boiling throughout this whole process (I was late on it) so drained quickly. Sweet tripod shot hey?
Once the garlic, basil stems, tomatoes have been stewing together for a bit, it’s time to add the butternut squash from the oven followed by the pasta. NOTE: Leave yourself some time for the butternut squash to roast really well. I think I pulled them out too early due to my lack of time management!
However, it still looked absolutely delicious. Especially when it was time to add the ricotta and vegetable broth.
Add some fresh basil leaves. He asks you to ‘tear’ them, I feel he’s all about a more organic approach to cooking. And yes that’s me in the mirror, still learning this whole tripod thing.
Now, it was time to pour the pasta and sauce into my casserole dish and pile on some ‘torn’ fresh mozzarella–now he’s REALLY got me.
After you do that, he asks you to put into the oven for a final bake until it’s bubbly–then out of the oven it comes and garnished with fresh parmesan shavings and basil leaves. This looks impressive doesn’t it?
The dish tasted great. It was a little bland, not sure if it was the tomatoes I used or lack of seasoning on my behalf but it was still very fresh tasting. We actually cooked up the leftovers with a little marinara and hot sauce the next day and it was unreal. Jamie–because I know him so well–is such a talented cook that I think I need to still warm up to his method of cooking. I’m still learning!