I believe that everything happens for a reason, even overwhelming, paralyzing attacks of laziness.
I had great cooking plans for the week, ambitious plans for a great cooking project with the kids. I was going to do a homemade ravioli bar where everyone could pick their filling and make their own ravioli. The kids would gravitate towards simpler fillings like Parmesan or ground chicken, and Steve and I would enjoy roasted butternut squash, caramelized scallions, and candied bacon. As homemade ravioli cook in a few minutes, the entire family would quickly be sitting eating delicious homemade pasta customized to their liking. And the kids were going to get a real kick out of operating the pasta roller.
But then the clouds rolled in on Tuesday, everything seemed so gray and wet, and by 6PM, I felt completely drained. I stood at the counter, staring into the flour canister, simply unable to muster the energy to begin kneading the pasta dough.
And so I grabbed a huge mental marker and crossed out the words homemade ravioli from my imaginary menu and scribbled the words pasta instead. Then I grabbed a box of spaghetti from the pantry, and radically simplified dinner.
The kids were thrilled with their spaghetti with butter and sprinkled Parmesan. But Steve and I were the real winners. Every bite of our impromptu pasta dish, which I humbly named Heavenly Pasta, was pure bliss in our mouths, an explosion of savory flavors, like a perfect bouquet. How can you go wrong with bacon, shiitake mushrooms, roasted butternut squash and scallions?
See, even frozen by an overwhelming laziness, genius can strike, and delicious, moan-inducing food results.
1/2 pack of spaghetti
2 cups of butternut squash in small dice
1/4 cups of olive oil
1/4 cups of maple syrup
1/2 package of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 cups of sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup of Marsala wine
4 tablespoons of salted butter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour the olive oil and maple syrup on the diced butternut squash and toss well to coat. Spread onto a cookie sheet and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until golden and tender.
- Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook pasta. Drain when ready and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a large frying pan on high flame.
- Add bacon and scallions to pan and pan fry for 5 minutes, until curling but not browned.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms become tender and lightly browned.
- Add the Marsala wine, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the wine is mostly evaporated.
- Add the remaining butter and the roasted butternut squash. Cook for another 30 seconds to one minute, until the butter is melted.
- Add to pasta and toss well. Serve immediately.